Boxer holds off former HP CEO Fiorina in California Senate race

Incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) defeated former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina in a close race on Tuesday.

Several media outlets including CNN and the LATimes called the race for Boxer shortly before midnight on Tuesday despite early returns that showed a close race between the two candidates. The liberal Boxer will return to the Senate for a fourth term after surviving her toughest challenge to date.

Fiorina's tenure as head of HP became a central issue in the campaign as Boxer accused her opponent of outsourcing thousands of jobs as part of HP's controversial merger with Compaq. Fiorina was also hospitalized last week with an infection associated with her reconstructive surgery following breast cancer this summer.