Lindsey Graham fends off challenge to retain South Carolina Senate seat

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Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham won re-election over his well-funded Democratic challenger on Tuesday, according to a projection by Fox news.

The powerful, three-term incumbent unofficially held off Jaime Harrison, who broke congressional fund-raising records by hauling in $57 million during the final quarter of his hotly contested race against Graham.

The outpouring of support for Harrison, a former aide to US Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina), so unnerved Graham that he was reduced to complaining about it during Senate hearings and pleading for donations when he appeared on TV.

Graham was among President Trump’s harshest critics during Graham’s failed bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, referring to his then-rival as — among other things — “a kook,” “crazy” and “unfit for office.”

But following Trump’s election, Graham became one of his staunchest allies and defenders, including during the president’s impeachment trial, with Graham vowing beforehand, “I will do everything I can to make it die quickly.”

“I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here,” he added.

Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also abandoned the position he took when the GOP-controlled Senate refused to consider the Supreme nomination of Judge Merrick Garland in 2016 and instead helped push through Trump’s nomination of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Harrison tried to make hay out of Graham’s closeness to Trump by shielding himself with a plexiglass screen during their first debate in October because Graham had recently met with Trump, who at the time was hospitalized with COVID-19.

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