Republican Richard Burr Prevails in North Carolina Senate Race

Contest against Democrat Deborah Ross was a focus for both parties

North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr has won a third Senate term, which he has said will be his last. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr has won a third Senate term, which he has said will be his last. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted November 8, 2016 at 10:21pm

Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr will be back for another term in the Senate, after winning his re-election race in North Carolina, The Associated Press projects.

Burr led Democratic challenger Deborah Ross, 51 percent to 46 percent, with 70 percent of precincts reporting.

[Election Results 2016]

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call moved the race into the Tossup column ahead of the election, citing Republican efforts to attack Ross that were not creating separation for Burr.

In 2010, Burr beat Democrat Elaine Marshall with 55 percent of the vote.

During the campaign, Burr faced Democrat-led attacks seeking to tie him to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. He told North Carolina Republicans gathered at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland that 2016 would be his last electoral campaign.

[How the Hill’s Endangered Have Been Voting]

A former state representative and leader of the North Carolina affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, Ross was not the first candidate Democrats wanted to run for the seat against Burr.

She began her campaign to unseat Burr armed with only an intern and the backing of EMILY’s List. She operated out of her kitchen, and her husband made snacks to fuel the small team.

“I consider it a 50-50 state where national trends and significant turnout can make a difference,” she told Roll Call.

Her campaign focused on continued economic struggles and uncertainty, supporting a $12 federal minimum wage and legislation guaranteeing equal pay for women.

Burr drew criticism for his campaign style, infrequently announcing campaign appearances.