Firebrand Marsha Blackburn retains Tennessee Senate seat for GOP

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Rep. Marsha Blackburn will win the race to represent Tennessee in the US Senate, CNN can project, outlasting a challenge from former Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat who looked to run against his party to win in a state President Donald Trump won by 26 percentage points in 2016. When Sen. Bob Corker retired, there was plenty of talk that the Dems would claim this seat. Marsha Blackburn calls herself a hardcore conservative proud to be politically incorrect and both candidates are trying to shape the race according to their own issues.

That's why President Trump, while campaigning for her in the state recently told the crowd that "a vote for Marsha is really a vote for me and everything that we stand for".

The $85 million-plus race set a state record in spending by candidates and outside groups, gaining national interest because of its potential implications for the GOP's slim majority in the Senate.

Republican Bill Lee, a Republican farmer and businessman from Franklin, Tennessee, easily won the state's governor race.

Bredesen, a Democrat who served as the governor of Tennessee from 2003 through 2011, was pilloried by ads tying him to unpopular Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the House and Senate Democratic leaders, respectively. "Kavanaugh is unfit for the Court", MoveOn.org wrote on Twitter. Bredesen broke with many in his party to say he would have voted to confirm Kavanaugh, but he waited until the day of the Senate vote to say so.

Blackburn was elected to Tennessee's 7th Congressional District in 2002. And amid a heated debate over gun control, she touted her support of the Second Amendment, telling voters about the pistol she packed in her purse.

She made a final plea to her fans a week before the election in another Instagram post, which has garnered 759,401 "likes", so far.

'As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I can not support Marsha Blackburn.

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