Election 2008

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McConnell Appears to Hold On, Preliminary Returns Say

November 04, 2008 10:20 PM
by Emily Coakley
In a tight race, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., edges by challenger Bruce Lunsford.
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The Senate’s Republican leader survived a challenge Tuesday night, defeating Bruce Lunsford, an entrepreneur from Louisville, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. 

With 89 percent of Kentucky’s precincts reporting, McConnell had 52 percent of the vote, according to CNN’s tally of unofficial results. Lunsford was trailing by fewer than 100,000 votes, and had 48 percent of the votes. 

Though spectators had predicted McConnell was in trouble, he was endorsed by 10 of 12 newspapers in the state, according to the Courier-Journal.

Key Players: The candidates

Mitch McConnell

McConnell has represented Kentucky in the U.S. Senate for 24 years, and in 2006 was elected Republican Senate leader. He grew up in Kentucky and graduated from the University of Louisville. He worked in Congress as a U.S. deputy assistant general and also served as an executive judge for a Kentucky county for many years before being elected to the Senate.  

Bruce Lunsford

Lunsford grew up on a farm in Kentucky and graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1969, earning a degree in political science with a minor in accounting, according to his biography. He joined the U.S. Army Reserves and then became a lawyer. He led the state’s first Commerce Cabinet and eventually started a healthcare company, Vencor Inc.
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