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In Senate, Republicans Hold Arizona; Democrats Keep New Mexico

Rep.  Jeff Flake will succeed retiring Sen. Jon Kyl in Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Rep. Jeff Flake will succeed retiring Sen. Jon Kyl in Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two Congressmen from different parties are moving up to the Senate.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R) is set to represent Arizona in the Senate, while Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) is set to be New Mexico’s newest Senator, according to an Associated Press projection.

In Arizona, Flake was up over his Democratic rival, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D), by more than 6 percent with 63 percent of precincts reporting. In New Mexico, Heinrich was up more than 6 points over former Rep. Heather Wilson (R) with 66 percent of precincts reporting.

It was a long road for Flake in his bid to succeed retiring Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R). Before his nasty general election race against Carmona, Flake was also engaged in a bitter primary.

Some state and national Republicans were worried about his chances as late as last week. He emerged from his primary financially weakened, and many were concerned that stretch in which he was dark on television was fatal.

Some operatives were even projecting going to bed not knowing who won the race. But in the end, Flake was on track to close out with some breathing room.

As for New Mexico, what looked like a potentially hot pickup opportunity for Republicans with Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s retirement never materialized. Polls began moving Heinrich’s way in August.

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