NASHVILLE, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Republican Bob Corker defeated Democrat Rep. Harold Ford to win Tennessee's U.S. Senate seat, ending Ford's bid to become the second black in the Senate.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday, Corker, 54, the former mayor or Chattanooga, had 51 percent of the vote to Ford's 48 percent. Corker led by about 48,495 votes.
Corker's victory derailed an attempt by Ford to become the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate from the South since Reconstruction. Tennessee's U.S. Senate seat was left open when Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., did not seek re-election.
"I love my country more than I love this process," Ford, 36, said in his concession speech.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., currently the nation's only black senator, both campaigned for Ford in the most expensive Senate race in Tennessee history, the Nashville Tennessean said. The cost of the race may exceed $40 million.