(CNN) - In Arizona, Republican Rep. Jeff Flake defeated Democrat Richard Carmona to win a U.S. Senate seat, according to a CNN projection.
Flake, a vocal fiscal conservative, led 51 to 45%, with 57% of the estimated vote total counted, when the projection was made. He will take the seat now held by retiring GOP Sen. Jon Kyl.
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Carmona, a Hispanic Vietnam veteran and surgeon general under President George W. Bush, proved to be a formidable opponent for Flake, a six-term congressman who had to fight his way through a tough August primary. Tight general election polls caused both campaigns to go negative. Among other things, Flake accused Carmona of having anger management problems, while Carmona argued Flake failed to adequately support veterans while in the House.
No Democrat has won a U.S. Senate seat in Republican-leaning Arizona since 1988.