Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has defeated Democrat Richard Carmona to win election to the Senate, according to election projections from multiple news outlets.
The red lean of the state and Mitt Romney's stable advantage in the polls made Flake a favorite from the beginning, but Democrats found a strong recruit in Carmona, who served as U.S. surgeon general under former President George W. Bush and touted that experience as proof of his bipartisan appeal.
Carmona managed to keep Flake's lead to single digits in most polls, and even led him in a few.
Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, both Republicans who endorsed Flake, entered the fray after Carmona used positive statements they made about him during his 2002 surgeon general confirmation hearing in a campaign ad. They both denounced the ad, calling Carmona dishonest, and Kyl eventually questioned whether he might be running for Senate for the "perks."
Carmona, for his part, attacked Flake on veterans' and women's issues, with the campaign arm for Senate Democrats launching an ad featuring a breast cancer survivor denouncing Flake.
Though Democrats had high hopes for Carmona, he proved unable to outperform President Obama in the state.
Romney is projected to win Arizona as well.