Obama’s Senate seat goes to GOP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats have lost President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat. Republican Mark Kirk defeated Illinois state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

But Democrats are assured of retaining Senate control. California Democrat Barbara Boxer has been re-elected to a fourth term in the Senate, turning back a challenge from Republican Carly Fiorina. Fiorina is the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard. Boxer had portrayed her as too conservative for California voters.

Democrats lost a Senate seat in Pennsylvania, where Republican Pat Toomey defeated Democrat Joe Sestak in a hard-fought race. It was one of four Senate races that leaders in both parties said could go either way.

In Rhode Island, former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, running as an independent, won a four-way race for governor. His chief rival, Democrat Frank Caprio, was hurt by his comment late in the campaign that President Barack Obama could “really shove it” for not endorsing him.

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