Rep. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCorker pressed as reelection challenges mount -trillion debt puts US fiscal house on very shaky ground Senate votes down Paul's bid to revoke war authorizations MORE (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.

The race was one of the nation's nastiest. Flake questioned his rival's temperament using testimony from one of Carmona's former female bosses who said he had lost his temper towards her.

Arizona Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate's defense authorization would set cyber doctrine Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE 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.