U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill could not successfully defend her seat Tuesday in a state that President Donald Trump won by 19 points two years ago.
The Democratic senator was one of five party members hoping to hold onto their seat in states that voted for President Trump in 2016. She faced Republican state Attorney General Josh Hawley, who had a 52-45 lead over her with 3,085 of 3,256 precincts reporting. The Associated Press called the race for Hawley earlier in the night, with McCaskill delivering a concession speech to her supporters.
“I want you to keep that fire burning,” McCaskill said to the hundreds gathered in her support in downtown St. Louis. “Because there is justice around the corner.”
McCaskill touted her moderate credentials in the weeks leading up to the election, including her support for parts of Trump’s immigration plan. She won the seat in 2006 in a narrow victory over incumbent Jim Talent. She kept the seat in the 2012 race against Rep. Todd Akin, winning with 54 percent of the vote.
McCaskill pointed out her new record in political races at 22-2, holding seats across Missouri for decades. While she did not specify what her future plans would be, she promised to be a vocal supporter and critic of local candidates and issues.
“I know my mouth gets me in trouble a lot,” McCaskill said. “Believe it or not, I’ve really had to be kind of careful. Not anymore.”