Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPatagonia says to shut stores for a few hours during Global Climate Strike Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes On The Money: House votes to avert shutdown, fund government through November | Judge blocks California law requiring Trump tax returns | Senate panel approves three spending bills 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."