Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellNegotiators remain far apart on coronavirus deal as deadline looms States begin removing Capitol's Confederate statues on their own Skepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal MORE (R-Ky.) said in his victory speech on Tuesday that his Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes "earned his respect."

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McConnell defeated Grimes earlier Tuesday night and he would be poised to become the Senate majority leader should the GOP win back the Senate.

"It took a lot of guts," McConnell said of Grimes. "I admire her willingness to step into the arena and fight as hard as she did. ... She deserves a lot of credit for it. This was certainly a hard fought contest."