- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Republican Sen. Richard Burr won reelection in North Carolina on Tuesday, fending off former state lawmaker Deborah Ross in a race that was tighter than anyone expected when the 2016 cycle kicked off.

Networks and the Associated Press called it for Mr. Burr more than an hour after final polls closed, significantly narrowing Democrats’ chances of retaking the chamber.

Mr. Burr, who had said this would be his last race, began campaigning late and faced a stiff challenge from Ms. Ross, who said the GOP incumbent had become too cozy in Washington and forgotten about North Carolina.

Yet Mr. Burr painted Ms. Ross‘ as soft on crime during her tenure as a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, and criticized her for saying she would have voted for Obamacare if she’d been in Congress in 2010, as much of the Tarheel State can only choose from one insurers on the law’s web-based exchange.

Ms. Ross said the health overhaul was better than the old system.

Ms. Ross‘ bid got a boost late in the campaign, when Mr. Burr joked in private about gun owners targeting Mrs. Clinton and suggested he might block her Supreme Court picks, should the Democratic nominee take the White House.

In the end, it wasn’t enough for an upset.

Mr. Burr spent 10 years in the House before winning election in 2004 to the seat vacated by Democratic Sen. John Edwards, who’d launched a presidential bid and later became the Democratic vice presidential nominee.

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