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McCain fends off Senate challenge

Republican John McCain has defeated a little-known Democrat to win a fifth term in the US Senate.

The general election leg of Mr McCain's campaign in Ariziona was less formidable than his primary challenge from former six-term congressman J.D. Hayworth.

The 2008 Republican presidential nominee's senate election opponent was Rodney Glassman, a 32-year-old who cast himself as an earnest advocate of public education and alternative energy. Mr Glassman's campaign did not gain much traction and was dogged by allegations that his 2005 doctoral dissertation contained plagiarised material. He denied the allegation.

Mr McCain, beaten by Barack Obama in the race for the White House two years ago, won another Senate term despite having been labelled at the outset of his re-election campaign as a vulnerable incumbent. In the end, he beat Mr Hayworth in the primary.

Meanwhile, a Republican mayor whose get-tough policies on illegal immigrants attracted national attention won a US House of Representatives seat in Pennsylvania that was in Democratic hands for 26 years.

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta defeated Representative Paul Kanjorski after losing to him in 2002 and 2008.

Mr Barletta shot to national prominence in 2006 for his tough stance on illegal immigration but retooled his message to focus on jobs and the economy. Mr Barletta campaigned on the sluggish economy and 10% unemployment in the predominantly Democratic district that includes Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and parts of the Pocono Mountains.

Hazleton approved a law in 2006 to deny business permits to companies that employ illegal immigrants, fine landlords who rent to them, and require tenants to register and pay for a rental permit. A federal judge struck it down as unconstitutional.

And California voters returned Democrat Jerry Brown, 72, to the governor's office 28 years after he left it. He defeated Republican Meg Whitman, the billionaire former eBay chief executive officer who spent 142 million US dollars of her personal fortune on her campaign.

Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger leaves in January after more than seven years in office.


From Belfast Telegraph