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Daines fends off challenge to win second Montana Senate term

Daines fends off challenge to win second Montana Senate term
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesSenate GOP to face off over earmarks next week Trump faces test of power with early endorsements OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Obama marine monument designation | Interior reverses course on tribal ownership of portion of Missouri river | White House climate adviser meets with oil and gas companies MORE (R-Mont.) won a second term in the Senate, defeating Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockBiden set to pick conservation advocate for top land management role Montana governor signs bill banning sanctuary cities Progressives' majority delusions politically costly MORE (D) in one of the most competitive races in the country.

The Associated Press called the race for Daines shortly before 2 a.m. EST on Wednesday.

Daines’s victory keeps Republicans in control of a seat Democrats had seen as one of their best pickup opportunities in their quest to gain control of the upper chamber. 

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Daines received helped from President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts MORE, who, throughout the course of the campaign, credited Daines with helping to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, which offers permanent funding each year toward conservation efforts.  

The bill was considered a bipartisan success, passed with board support from both parties after the Trump budget repeatedly sought to cut funding for the same program the bill supports.

Daines’s relatively straightforward path to reelection was rocked when a term-limited Bullock entered the race after his failed presidential bid. 

Daines repeatedly cast a Bullock victory as having the potential to lead to “liberal tyranny.”