Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi has edged out Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel in an extremely tight run-off election, according to the AP, which gives the six-term GOP veteran 51% to McDaniel's 49% with 99% of precincts reporting. The heated three-week race saw Cochran take the unusual step of reaching out to black Democrats, a move that his opponent called a desperate attempt to chase "ultraliberal" votes, the New York Times reports. Sources tell the Hill that McDaniel plans a legal challenge to the result, focusing on heavily African-American Hinds County, where Cochran received thousands more votes in the run-off than in the first round of primary voting. In another closely watched race, Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel is leading his challenger Adriano Espaillat in New York’s 13th District, Politico reports. Espaillat—who gave the 84-year-old Rangel the toughest challenge of his political career—says the race is still too close to call and has refused to concede, although the latest figures put Rangel four points ahead with 99% of precincts counted.
In other results:
- Former Rep. Bob Beauprez has won the Republican gubernatorial primary in Colorado, defeating rivals including anti-immigration hardliner Tom Tancredo. He will face Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper in the general election.
- In Oklahoma, two-term GOP Rep. James Lankford easily defeated former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon, who was backed by Ted Cruz in the special election to succeed Sen. Tom Coburn, who is retiring. Lankford "faces no credible Democratic opposition in the fall," Politico notes.
- In a special House election in Florida, Republican businessman Curt Clawson was chosen to replace former Rep. Trey Radel, who stepped down earlier this year after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.