Democrat Edward J. Markey has been elected to a full six-year term in the US Senate representing Massachusetts.
Markey defeated Republican challenger Brian Herr Tuesday, according to an Associated Press projection that came just as polls closed.
Markey, a US representative for 37 years, had won a special election to step up to the upper chamber and serve out the last 13 months of Kerry’s term.
This year’s race largely played out in the background amid other hard-fought battles across the country for control of the Senate. Markey, whose challenger was little known, was long considered a heavy favorite.
The two sparred in a televised debate last month, in which they differed on issues including gambling, immigration, and the Affordable Care Act.
Markey was seen as one of the most liberal members of the House during his tenure there.
Herr positioned himself as a fiscal conservative who would come to the Senate with an open mind on issues like abortion rights and same-sex marriage, which he supports.