AP: Republican Tillis keeps North Carolina Senate seat

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North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis has won reelection to the Senate, defeating Democrat Cal Cunningham after a hard-fought campaign and days of counting ballots.

Republicans now have 50 Senate seats in the next Congress, compared with 48 for Democrats. Control of the chamber will be decided by two January runoffs in Georgia, with Republicans needing to win one more seat for a majority. Democrats would win control if it ends up a 50-50 tie because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tiebreaker.

The North Carolina campaign was marked in the final weeks by Cunningham’s acknowledgment of an extramarital affair and Tillis’ COVID-19 diagnosis.

Cunningham outraised Tillis this year, but Tillis benefited from the fallout after the Democrat admitted to a recent extramarital relationship with a public relations consultant.

Cunningham conceded the race on Tuesday, saying that “the voters have spoken” and that it was clear Tillis had won.

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