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Sullivan wins reelection in Alaska, giving Republicans 50 seats in Senate

Sen. Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanTrump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (R) on Wednesday was projected to have won a second term representing Alaska, securing 50 seats in the Senate for Republicans in the next Congress.

CNN and NBC News both called the race shortly before 10 a.m. EST.

The projection confirms that control of the Senate will come down to two Jan. 5 runoffs in Georgia, one between Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerMcConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge Club for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout MORE (R) and the Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) and the other between Sen. David PerdueDavid PerdueClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Groups seek to get Black vote out for Democrats in Georgia runoffs Trump set for precedent-breaking lame-duck period MORE (R) and Jon Ossoff (D).

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The loss marked another state where Democrats failed to unseat Republicans in seats seen as closely contested. Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls Two more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism MORE (R-Maine), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstThe Memo: Trump plows ahead with efforts to overturn election More conservatives break with Trump over election claims Peggy Noonan: 'Bogus dispute' by Trump 'doing real damage' MORE (R-Iowa) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisMcConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge North Carolina — still purple but up for grabs Team Trump offering 'fire hose' of conspiracy Kool-Aid for supporters MORE (R-N.C.) all won reelection in states highly targeted by Democrats.

Sullivan defeated Al Gross, an independent who was backed by national Democrats in their effort to flip the seat. Gross is a former orthopedic surgeon and commercial fisherman and is the son of former Alaska Attorney General Avrum Gross (D).

Polls had consistently shown Sullivan narrowly leading in the race, but outside groups poured millions of dollars in the lead-up to Election Day as some surveys showed the race would be competitive.

Throughout the campaign, Sullivan swatted away attacks that he was tied too closely to President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE, an argument Democrats hoped would influence voters in a state that prizes its independent tilt. He excoriated Gross for what he said were exaggerated claims to independence and close ties to Democrats.

As recently as Tuesday, Gross tweeted that more than 100,000 ballots were outstanding in the race, adding “we can win this.”

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“I want to congratulate my fellow Marine, Senator Dan Sullivan on his victory. Alaskans know Dan as a man who always puts service before self and who has championed the unique needs of his state in Washington,” National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungShelton's Fed nomination on knife's edge amid coronavirus-fueled absences Grassley quarantining after exposure to coronavirus Rick Scott to quarantine after contact with person who tested positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Ind.) said in a statement. “The state will be well served with another six years of his representation.”

Media outlets also called Alaska for President Trump shortly after the call was made for Sullivan.

Updated at 10:19 a.m.