U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is projected to have won reelection to a fourth term by South Carolina voters in a race that saw record-setting spending driven by national attention.
The Associated Press called the race for Graham just before 10 p.m. In his most significant challenge to date, Graham held off Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, the former state Democratic Party chairman who worked under U.S. Rep. James Clyburn in Washington, D.C.
With 66% of the votes counted, the S.C. Election Commission reported Graham with 56% of the vote to Harrison’s 42%.
Harrison congratulated Graham on his reelection at his election night event at Hunter-Gatherer Brewery in Columbia just after 10 p.m.
“While I breathe, I hope. Well, I’m still breathing. And I still hope,” Harrison said in his concession speech, paraphrasing the South Carolina state motto. “We proved that a new South is rising. Tonight only slowed us down.”
Graham’s victory Tuesday mirrored success in the Palmetto State by President Donald Trump, who was declared the early winner of the state by the AP.
Harrison’s challenge this year came after Graham aligned himself closely with the president, defending him in the media and in the U.S. Capitol. Graham’s angry support of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh helped Trump secure a second conservative appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Millions of dollars were pumped into Graham and Harrison’s campaign coffers over the course of the campaign, with over $200 million processed by the campaigns directly and millions more spent by outside groups. Harrison raised $57 million in the third quarter of 2020 alone, an all-time record for U.S. Senate candidates.