(CBSDFW.COM) – Incumbent U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has won a fourth term after defeating Democratic challenger Mary “MJ” Hegar, the Associated Press reports.
The race has stayed close since polls closed in Texas at 7 p.m CT. However, Cornyn prevailed in staying on the U.S. Senate.
With about 74% of precincts reporting, Cornyn was winning 53% to 44% for Hegar.
Aides for the senator said Hegar called at around 8:20 p.m. to concede the race, according to the Associated Press.
Hegar tweeted just after 8:45 p.m., saying “I’m so proud and incredibly grateful for all of your support. Together, we’ve worked so hard, and overcome so much, shattering expectations along the way. We’ve built a powerful grassroots movement from the ground up, and I know our fight here in Texas is far from over.”
Cornyn delivered remarks to reporters after his victory.
“I want to thank every Texan across our great state who cast their ballot. This is a historic election for so many reasons. Whether I earned your vote or whether you were pulling for my opponent, I’m honored and committed to serving and representing all Texans,” Cornyn said.
Hegar, an Air Force veteran, looked to unseat the Republican senator after losing in 2018 for Texas’ 31st Congressional District.
Cornyn was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002 after serving as Texas Attorney General from 1999 to 2002. He also served as Senate Majority Whip from 2013 to 2019.
In an interview with CBS 11’s Jack Fink last week, Cornyn said he realized he couldn’t take his re-election for granted after former El Paso congressman Beto O’Rourke nearly unseated U.S. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2018.
He said Texas is more competitive now because millions of people have moved here since he last ran in 2014, and he said Republicans can’t be complacent.
Money raised by Hegar through her campaign helped her run television ads statewide and get out the vote. She raised more than $13.5 million in the third quarter.