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Hegar concedes in Texas Senate race

Democrat MJ Hegar is challenging longtime incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.
Democrat MJ Hegar is challenging longtime incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.(File)
Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 8:56 PM CST
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Democrat MJ Hegar has conceded in her bid to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas.

Hegar called Cornyn at 8:20 p.m. Tuesday to concede, Cornyn spokesman Travis Considine said. The Associated Press has not yet called the race.

Cornyn held an edge in polls and fundraising for most of the race but was still forced into mounting an unusually aggressive defense of his 18 years in the Senate.

Democrats poured millions of dollars behind Hegar, a former Air Force helicopter pilot who narrowly lost a U.S. House race two years ago. She accused Cornyn of delivering little for Texas over his long stint but didn’t generate the same enthusiasm of Democratic challengers in battleground Senate races elsewhere.

Polls have closed in the majority of Texas amid a surge in turnout for this year’s general election.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. CST on Tuesday for nearly all of Texas. The El Paso area, which is in the Mountain time zone, will close an hour later at 7 p.m. MST. Polling places in Hidalgo and Upshur counties will close an hour later than normal, at 8 p.m. CST, because of technical problems earlier in the day.

Unusually tight races are expected up and down the ballot this year. Democrats hope to take a majority in the state House of Representatives, while the presidential contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is widely viewed as a tossup.

Voters in Texas made their pick for president while holding negative views about the country’s direction.

That’s according to AP VoteCast, a survey of the American electorate from The Associated Press. The poll found the coronavirus pandemic was top of mind for voters, with almost two-fifths calling it the most important issue facing the nation.

Voters also considered the economy a major issue, with almost 3 in 10 saying it ranked at the top. About 1 in 10 named health care and the same number named racism.

The voter snapshot is based on preliminary results of a survey of about 4,500 voters and nonvoters in Texas. The survey was conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.