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Patty Murray defeats Dino Rossi in Wash. to win fourth term

Updated 9:55 p.m.

Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington state, defeated former state senator Dino Rossi (R) to win election to a fourth term, the Associated Press projected Thursday night.

The result means Senate Democrats lost six seats in the midterm elections. One Senate race remains undecided, but the contest in Alaska will go to either Republican Joe Miller or the incumbent, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), who lost to Miller in the GOP primary and ran as a write-in candidate. The result in that race may not be known for weeks.

Rossi acknowledged that his efforts had come up short and said that he called Murray to congratulate her.

"I ran for the Senate because I believe we need a basic course correction from where Washington, D.C., has been taking us and to make sure this country is as free, as strong and as prosperous in the future as it has been in the past to preserve the best of America for future generations," Rossi said.

"That was a message that found a very receptive audience all across this state, though not quite receptive enough," he added.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez commended Murray for a "well-deserved and hard-fought victory."

"National Republicans and special-interest third-party groups poured millions of dollars into this race, but Washington voters proved again that at the end of the day no one fights harder for them than Senator Murray," Menendez said.

Murray's win marks the second of two West Coast seats that Democrats have successfully held despite strong GOP challenges. In California, another vulnerable three-term incumbent, Sen. Barbara Boxer, fended off former Hewlett Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina (R). Both Murray and Boxer were long thought to be safe, but the strong anti-incumbent mood sweeping the nation pushed both races into toss-up territory.

National Republicans had viewed Rossi as their best hope of unseating Murray. The race marks Rossi's third unsuccessful bid for statewide office. He came up short against Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) in 2004 and again in 2008; the former went down as the closest gubernatorial race ever in U.S. history.

By Felicia Sonmez  | November 4, 2010; 9:22 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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