Republican Pat Toomey re-elected to Pa. Senate [photos]

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey fended off his challenger Katie McGinty to win a second term.

The combined $155 million in spending from mostly outside groups made it the most expensive Senate race in history.

Around 2 a.m. on Wednesday at a Holiday Inn in Allentown, Toomey admitted that it was a hard-fought race. The door-to-door canvassing from each campaign and hours of negative television advertisements made that clear.Toomey told supporters that when McGinty called him to congratulate, he returned it, congratulating her on “running a very spirited campaign,” shortly after that he said some of the ads aimed at him were “just out-right false.”In his victory speech early Wednesday morning, Toomey said voters backed him because of his conservative principals.“I don’t think the federal government should be stifling our economy by over-regulating businesses. I don’t think Washington should be making health-care decisions for all of us,” Toomey said. “I don’t think the government should be wasting as much money as it wastes. I don’t think it should be spending as much of your money as it spends. I don’t think taxes should be as high as they are.”Throughout the campaign, Toomey positioned himself as a reach-across-the-aisle moderate. He was silent about his support for Trump until hours before polls closed.Underscoring the bipartisan message, Toomey released an ad featuring President Obama talking about what courage it took to sponsor a gun control measure as a Republican. Speaking the day before the election on Independence Mall, Obama hammered Toomey for being wishy-washy on Trump, a hedge move that also garnered heavy public criticism from McGinty.

Appealing to voters in areas such as Northeastern Pennsylvania, Toomey trumpeted his backing of miner protection legislation, which he said would benefit the state’s anthracite coal industry. He also campaigned on funding new equipment for members of the state’s law enforcement community. Toomey was considered one of the most vulnerable incumbent Republicans in the country. His victory by about one percentage point helped keep the party in control of the Senate. Toomey, a former banker, took heat from McGinty over his ties to Wall Street. Among his proposals is one to end the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created in the wake of the financial crisis. His campaign has championed his ability to work on bipartisan legislation, including a proposal he co-sponsored to expand background checks for gun purchases.

McGinty, in conceding the contest, said the outcome was disappointing.

“This is still a time for us to look forward with hope and determination, and most of all, it is a time that we have to look forward together,” she said.

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