Incumbent U.S. Senator Gary Peters successfully fended off a serious challenge from Republican businessman John James on Wednesday evening, winning reelection to a second six-year term.
“Michigan, thank you. It’s an honor to serve you for another six years in the U.S. Senate,” Peters said in a tweet. “To all who believed in us, gave your time and effort in our fight: thank you for putting your trust in me. I’m so grateful and energized to keep working to move our state forward.”
Michigan, thank you. It's an honor to serve you for another six years in the U.S. Senate.
To all who believed in us, gave your time and effort in our fight: thank you for putting your trust in me. I'm so grateful and energized to keep working to move our state forward.
— Gary Peters (@GaryPeters) November 5, 2020
The 61-year-old senator continued Democrats’ dominance of Senate elections in the presidential battleground state.
The Republican party, who only secured one Senate win in the state since the 1970s, has ramped up efforts to unseat Peters in an expensive race that was Michigan’s most competitive in 20 years.
James led in the race throughout Tuesday night and much of Wednesday as clerks across the state worked to count more than three million absentee ballots cast across Michigan.
The huge numbers of absentee ballots that came Wednesday afternoon from Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties delivered the win for Peters.
Peters is a low-key former congressman, state lawmaker, lottery commissioner, and investment adviser who served in the Navy Reserve. He vowed bipartisan work in his campaign messages.
Despite the victory, Democrats incurred setbacks and faced increasing odds in the battle to regain Senate control.
In order to reclaim the Senate, Democrats needed to gain at least three seats in addition to what they have now if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden were to win, four if Trump won reelection.
Democrats as of Wednesday night secured seats in Colorado and Arizona and lost one in Alabama.