U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C. 13th) has won North Carolina's contested U.S. Senate seat, per unofficial election results.
Budd won 50.7 percent of the votes in the general election in North Carolina, finishing ahead of Democratic candidate and former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, who received 47.1 percent of the vote.
Budd will take the place of U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who is retiring after serving three terms in the U.S. Senate.
Budd’s victory is a key win for Republicans in the state who hoped to keep Burr's former seat in their party's hands.
“With their votes today, the people of North Carolina have sent a clear signal that the Biden agenda is wrong for America," Budd said in a press release. "It’s time to start creating jobs again instead of destroying jobs and I’m ready to fight for that in the US Senate.”
The Associated Press called the race at 11:49 p.m. on Tuesday night. The race between Budd and Beasley for the North Carolina Senate seat was tightly contested for much of the year.
With just over 22 percent of ballots counted, Beasley led Budd, 55 percent to 43 percent, in the closely watched race. But that changed as Election Day ballots were counted. Early voting results showed Beasley ahead, but Budd took the lead as precincts reported Election Day data.
This matches documented trends. Republican voters historically cast more ballots than Democrats on Election Day and Democrats are more likely to vote early, according to Gallup.
Budd, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is a gun store owner and voted against certifying the 2020 election. He also co-sponsored a national ban on abortion.