U.S. Senate control down to four races; Fetterman wins Pennsylvania

Democrat John Fetterman expresses his thanks to his staff and volunteers after his election win early Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
1 of 8 | Democrat John Fetterman expresses his thanks to his staff and volunteers after his election win early Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Control of the U.S. Senate is down to four races after Democrat John Fetterman won in Pennsylvania over Dr. Mehmet Oz, flipping the state from red to blue, and Republican J.D. Vance won in Ohio, defeating long-time congressman Tim Ryan.

Republican incumbents Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah also had victories Tuesday night.


Party power in the Senate is virtually tied and will come down to the outcome of midterm races in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin, which were too close to call early Wednesday.

The race in Georgia is extremely close, with Democrat Raphael Warnock leading Republican candidate Herschel Walker. Democrats are ahead in Arizona and Nevada. Republicans are leading in Wisconsin. Two Republicans were battling for a seat in Alaska.


Pennsylvania: John Fetterman (D) defeats Mehmet Oz (R)

Democratic candidate for Senate John Fetterman waves as his arrives at the New Hope Baptist Church to vote on Tuesday in Braddock, Pa. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI

Democrat John Fetterman won the pivotal U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania, defeating Republican challenger Dr. Mehmet Oz in a close race which flips the state from red to blue after Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., decided not to run for a third term.

Dr. Mehmet Oz addresses supporters during a rally at The Chadwick in Wexford, Pa., on Friday. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI

The race was dominated by Fetterman's health issues as both candidates battled for the seat vacated by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who chose not to run for a third term.

Fetterman, who is recovering from a stroke he suffered in May, struggled at times to articulate his views, which was evident during the candidates' only debate last month.

Fetterman, who has served as Pennsylvania's Lieutenant Governor since 2019 and was instrumental in the legalization of marijuana in the state, campaigned on fighting for Pennsylvania's working people "who've been knocked down," a clear reference to his own health challenges.


Fetterman voiced support for fracking, an industry he had criticized in the past, and campaigned for criminal justice reform, calling for clemency for long-serving, reformed criminals. He also campaigned to guarantee a woman's right to choose after the Supreme Court reversed Roe vs. Wade abortion protections in June.

As Republicans focused on whether Fetterman was fit to serve in the Senate, Oz, who is a heart surgeon and inventor of heart valve repair devices, as well as the former host of The Dr. Oz Show, campaigned to protect free speech, while blasting the COVID-19 pandemic response.

"COVID-19 became an excuse for government and elite thinkers who controlled the means of communication, especially social media and our major news agencies, to suspend debate," Oz said on his campaign website, where he criticized the decision to close schools and businesses that "took away our freedom."

Oz also campaigned on energy production, school choice, the right to bear arms and every state's right to make their own "abortion decision."

"I want women, doctors, local political leaders letting the democracy that's always allowed our nation to thrive to put the best ideas forward so states can decide for themselves," Oz said during their debate as Fetterman argued for abortion guarantees at the national level.


"If you believe that the choice for abortion belongs between you and your doctor, that's what I fight for," Fetterman said last month. "Roe vs. Wade, for me, should be the law."

Ohio: J.D. Vance (R) defeats Tim Ryan (D)

Republican J.D. Vance wins the U.S. Senate seat in Ohio. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI

Republican J.D. Vance, who is an author and venture capitalist, won in Ohio where he defeated 10-term Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan on Tuesday night. Both candidates ran to succeed Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who decided not to seek another term.

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, has conceded the U.S. Senate race to Republican challenger J.D. Vance. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Vance, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, won the nomination out of a field of seven candidates, as Ryan beat out two other candidates during the primary with 70% of the vote.

Ryan is serving his 10th term in Congress and campaigned to fight for working families by keeping jobs in Ohio. He also pushed for higher wages and retirement protections by strengthening Medicare and Social Security and vowed to fight the opioid crisis, invest in education and rebuild public infrastructure.


Vance, who ran as a political outsider, received his law degree from Yale and served in the Iraq War as a U.S. Marine before investing in Silicon Valley and writing the bestselling book Hillbilly Elegy, which became a Netflix film.

Vance argued a lack of leadership in the country has created skyrocketing crime, spending and inflation. Vance said he ran to defend working-class Americans in Ohio who have been "devastated by job loss, addiction and economic turmoil."

"They chose to flood our country with criminals and drugs. They chose to take a knee as radicals ransacked our cities and made our communities less safe," Vance said. "They chose to make a quick buck by selling our industrial base to China. They chose censorship over the First Amendment."

While Ryan also wanted to support working Ohioan by bringing back manufacturing and rebuilding infrastructure, he differed from Vance when it came to abortion, calling for healthcare that "protects reproductive freedom for all Ohioans." In Congress, Ryan co-sponsored and voted to pass the Women's Health Protection Act, which would codify Roe vs. Wade.

Ryan also campaigned on clean energy to combat climate change and protect the country's natural resources, while also pushing to end racial disparities.


"Taking action to end the systemic racism that continues to play a role in every aspect of our lives -- the schools our kids attend, which communities get funding for infrastructure and public services, whether we can get the healthcare we need, what jobs we have access to and how much money we earn, and how we're treated in the eyes of the law," Ryan said on his campaign website.

Vance advocated for energy independence, securing the southern border and dismantling the big-tech oligarchy despite investing in it. Vance called for an end to abortion and calls himself "100% pro-life. He also wants to protect Second Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens and has called for an end to COVID-19 changes to elections, and instead going back to "an election day in this country, not an election season."

The candidates participated in two debates, clashing over abortion and inflation while also targeting each other over Ryan's support of President Joe Biden and Vance's support of Trump.

Georgia: Raphael Warnock (D) vs. Herschel Walker (R)

Rep. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., is the Democratic candidate for the U.S., Senate in Georgia. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

The tight race for Georgia's Senate seat, between Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker was tied at 49% for most of Tuesday night but Warnock moved ahead with 95% of the vote counted. Warnock is currently leading with 49.4% of the vote to Walker's 48.6%. If neither candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, the race will advance to a Dec. 6 runoff.

Georgia's Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, Herschel Walker, is endorsed by former President Donald Trump. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

The race between the two candidates grew heated toward the end as two women claimed Walker, who said he opposes abortion, pressured them into having abortions that he paid for.

The former football great denied the claims.

"You know, guys. I'm done with this foolishness," Walker said after an event in northeast Georgia. "I've already told people this is a lie."

Walker, who was a running back for 12 seasons in the National Football League and runs a number of food franchise businesses, campaigned against abortion as a pro-family candidate. During the race, he promised energy independence to lower gas prices, support for small businesses and workers, lower taxes, fewer government regulations and stronger national security. He was endorsed by Trump.


Warnock, who is an ordained minister, was elected to the U.S. Senate on Jan. 5, 2021, in a special election runoff against incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler, after neither candidate received a majority of the vote on Election Day.

Warnock campaigned on climate change, calling for "investment in infrastructure and common sense policies to adapt to the science." He also promised criminal justice reform and an end to mass incarceration, as well as free access to a good education and healthcare, while advocating for a woman's right to choose on abortion.

During Warnock and Walker's only debate, held last month, Walker softened his original stance to end abortion without exceptions, saying instead that he supports the exceptions Georgia's Legislature included in its six-week abortion ban, including in cases of medical emergencies and rape or incest.

While Warnock supported many of the policies embraced by President Joe Biden, such as student loan forgiveness, he would not say during the debate whether Biden should run for re-election in 2024.

"You're asking me who's going to run in '24?" Warnock asked last month. "The people of Georgia get to decide who's going to be their senator in three weeks."

During the debate, Warnock took issue with Walker's repeated admissions that he has been treated for mental illness, which Walker blamed for past violence. Walker accused Warnock of stigmatizing mental illness and said he was "ready to serve."


Arizona: Mark Kelly (D) vs. Blake Masters (R)

Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., is the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Arizona. File Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI

The Senate race in Arizona between Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly and Republican tech investor Blake Masters was viewed as one of the key battlegrounds for control of the U.S. Senate. Kelly's financial dominance and incumbency had him well-positioned to win a full, six-year term, after serving two years in the Senate.

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate for Arizona Blake Masters speaks at a rally ahead of the midterm elections. Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE

While the race has not been called with 62% of the vote counted late Tuesday, Kelly was leading with 56.1% over Masters' 41.7%.

Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, won in a special election in 2020 to fill the seat of the late Republican Sen. John McCain, making him the first Democrat to win the seat in 60 years.

At the end of October, Kelly had raised more than $80 million, while Masters had raised about $11 million. While Kelly outspent Masters during his campaign, the race had tightened going into Election Day.


Kelly, who made multiple trips to the International Space Station and served as a Navy pilot in Operation Desert Storm, is also the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, who suffered a brain injury after she was shot during an assassination attempt near Tucson. Giffords, who went through rehabilitation to recover her ability to walk and speak, resigned from the House during her third term in 2012. She and Kelly have become ardent supporters of gun control.

After graduating from Stanford Law School, Masters co-founded software startup Judicata, and wrote the New York Times bestseller Zero to One about startups and venture capital. Masters, who has invested heavily in tech startups, also served as president of the Thiel Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes science and innovation. He was also part of Trump's transition team.

Masters, who bills himself as a Christian tech investor and gun owner, argued during his campaign that Democrats in power have failed, with chaos at the border, skyrocketing inflation, failing schools and rising crime. He campaigned to break up the "unholy alliance between big government, big tech and big business."

Kelly campaigned to upgrade Arizona'a infrastructure, while securing water for the state by upgrading dams and reservoirs. He also promised to expand job training and make Washington more transparent by banning members of Congress from trading stocks.


In the Senate, Kelly worked to ease prices at the gas pump. Earlier this year, Kelly proposed a bill, the Gas Prices Relief Act, to suspend the federal gasoline tax through the end of the year, to ease prices at the pump.

During a debate last month, the candidates sparred over abortion, as Kelly targeted Masters' anti-abortion stance.

"My opponent wants a national abortion ban taking away your rights. I am going to protect abortion. I'm going to protect your constitutional rights," Kelly said on Oct. 6, to which Masters replied. "I am pro-life, but I believe in limits."

Masters has said he supports legislation that would ban abortions beyond 15 weeks of pregnancy.

During the debate, Kelly also promised to lower fuel costs by increasing energy production.

"When the Biden administration refused to increase gas and oil production, I told him he was wrong," Kelly said.

"We've been going in the wrong direction," Masters agreed as he affirmed he is not an election denier and believes Joe Biden is the "legitimate president."

"Unfortunately for all of us," Masters added, "Everything is on fire and it's Joe Biden's fault."

Nevada: Catherine Cortez Masto (D) vs. Adam Laxalt (R)

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., is running for re-election. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI

In the U.S. Senate race in Nevada, with 54% of the vote counted, first-term Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto leads with 51.53% over Republican candidate Adam Laxalt, who has 45.68%

Adam Laxalt is the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Nevada. Photo by James Atoa/UPI

Laxalt campaigned on reversing rising gas prices, inflation, and lack of security at the U.S. border with Mexico, which he deemed Democratic failures, while Cortez Masto promised to codify abortion rights and lower drug costs in one of the few races that did not hold a debate.

As senator, Cortez Masto voted for Biden's American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Laxalt called Cortez Masto a "rubber stamp" for Biden, as she voted with Biden 92.7% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Cortez Masto, who served as Nevada attorney general from 2007 to 2015, was also a criminal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Officer and former chief of staff for former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller.

Laxalt succeeded Cortez Masto as Nevada's attorney general from 2015 to 2019. He was also an aide to John Bolton, who was then under secretary of state for arms control and international security affairs, as well as an aide to former Sen. John Warner, R-Va.


During his campaign, Laxalt blamed big government spending for 40-year-high inflation and said he would "work quickly to restore fiscal sanity," while voting against frivolous government spending.

The candidates have also sparred on abortion, as Laxalt agreed with the Supreme Court's decision to reverse Roe vs. Wade, saying he believed abortion regulation should be left to state lawmakers.

Cortez Masto has said she opposes legislation introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that would ban abortion after 15 weeks, except in cases of rape, incest or the health of the mother.

"I will block any efforts in the Senate to advance a nationwide abortion ban -- full stop," Cortez Masto said. "We don't need any more male politicians telling women what we can and can't do with our own bodies."

On immigration, Cortez Masto, who is the first ever Latina elected to the Senate, said she would like to see a middle ground for boosting security at the southern border, while creating a pathway to citizenship for those in the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals program. Laxalt endorsed Trump-era policies like "remain in Mexico," which would force asylum-seeking migrants to remain in Mexico as their claim is processed by a U.S. immigration judge.


Cortez Masto accused Laxalt, who co-chaired Trump's re-election bid in Nevada, of being an election denier after he filed numerous lawsuits to stop the counting of ballots in Clark County following the 2020 election. All of the lawsuits were thrown out.

"Laxalt basically said if he loses this election, it's because it's stolen," Cortez Masto said. "He is out there peddling conspiracies and lies, and it is important for the truth to come out. In this age, voters deserved to be informed."

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