Sen. Mark Warner (D) is projected to win reelection to a third term in the Senate representing Virginia, beating out Republican nominee Daniel Gade for the position.

The Associated Press called the race for Warner at 7 p.m. EST.

Warner thanked voters during a press conference Tuesday, calling for unity in the face of challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Virginians want us to get our act together, they want us to put them first, they know that we are the greatest country in the world, and there is nothing that we can’t accomplish, but we’ve got to do that in a way that is united,” Warner said.

“We are going to recover, we are going to get through this virus, brighter days are ahead for both Virginia and for our country, my final comment is just a great big thank you to the people of Virginia, a lot of work to do, and I look forward to getting back to that,” he added. 

Warner, who was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008 and reelected in 2014, serves as the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he helped lead the panel’s bipartisan investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

If the Senate flips and is controlled by Democrats after Tuesday’s general election, Warner would likely take over as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. When asked about this possibility on Tuesday, Warner pointed to increasing threats from Russia, China, and Iran in underlining the committee’s importance.

“The Intelligence Committee has got to be independent of politics, it needs to be willing to speak truth to power, and should the Democrats take control, and whether I’m chairman or vice chairman of that committee, those intelligence professionals, the vast majority of who live in Virginia, I’m going to have their back,” Warner said.

Warner ran on a progressive platform, campaigning for advancing civil rights for all, enhancing public education and cutting down student debt, environmental protection policies including investing in renewable energy, and providing better benefits for military veterans.

Warner previously served as governor of Virginia between 2002 and 2006, and is also a co-founder of telecom group Nextel Communications.

He has championed next generation technologies in the Senate, including introducing legislation to shore up fifth generation, or 5G, wireless network security, promoting data privacy and security, and pushing back against disinformation on social media platforms.

In winning the election, Warner won out over Republican challenger Gade, an American University professor and retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, who was polling well behind Warner headed into Election Day.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) congratulated Warner on his victory Tuesday night, tweeting out a picture of the two together during a previous election.

“Congrats to my longtime friend and my senior Senator @MarkWarner on his re-election tonight!,” Kaine tweeted. “A win for Virginians and all Americans. Here’s to many more celebrations together!

-Updated at 8:43 p.m.

Tags 2020 election Mark Warner Tim Kaine Virginia

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