Republican candidate Dan Sullivan defeated Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Begich in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race Wednesday.
The win gives the GOP eight Senate pickups in the midterm elections. The party is also seeking a ninth seat in Louisiana’s runoff in December.
Sullivan ran a confident campaign, ignoring the debate schedule Begich established and setting his own terms.
He pledged to fight federal overreach, talked about energy independence and at seemingly every opportunity, sought to tie Begich to President Barack Obama and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who are unpopular in Alaska.
Begich complained that Sullivan offered little in the way of proposals for what he would do as senator.
Earlier Tuesday, election workers began counting absentee ballots and early indications were Sullivan maintained an 8,100 vote advantage over Begich. It proved to be true later that night.
With roots in Alaska, Sullivan recently served as the state’s natural resource commissioner. He also had spent seven years in the military and worked in Washington as assistant secretary of state. He returned to Alaska in 2009 and was appointed attorney general by former Gov. Sarah Palin.