Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) beat former Surgeon General Richard Carmona tonight to fill the seat of retiring Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).
With 63 percent of precincts reporting, Flake led his Democratic opponent 51.1 percent to 44.5 percent.
The race in Goldwater Country had gotten fairly nasty.
Flake, an anti-pork crusader who regularly sends out punny comparisons of the national debt (i.e. “It’s par for the course for Congress to keep spending, but eventually we are going to end up in the rough”), has outspent Carmona and accused his challenger of having “issues with anger, with ethics, and with women.” Carmona ran an ad suggesting Kyl and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) like him better (they don’t) and the DSCC ran an ad with a breast cancer survivor accusing Flake of voting against cancer patients.
Carmona had come within reaching distance of Flake later in the campaign, but never quite made up the ground he needed to overtake the congressman.