Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown lost his bid to add New Hampshire Senator to his resume, as NBC News projected that incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen held on to win re-election to a second term on Tuesday.
"Thank you, New Hampshire!" Shaheen shouted as she addressed supporters. "Tonight the people of New Hampshire chose to put New Hampshire first."
Shaheen praised Brown for running "a vigorous race," and said she is proud to be able to "once again be able to represent the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate."
Brown, the Republican candidate, won a special election in Massachusetts in 2010 to replace the late Democratic U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy. Brown lost that seat in 2012.
He moved to his summer home in New Hampshire last year to run for Senate there. He campaigned hard to shed the "carpetbagger" label that Shaheen and other Democrats attempted to pin on him, cris-crossing the state and visiting businesses, fairs and even college tailgates.
The seat is seen as a “must win” for Democrats looking to hold off the GOP bid to win control of the U.S. Senate. Republicans need six seats to take a majority.
Throughout the campaign, Shaheen, 67, cast Brown as an outsider who doesn't understand New Hampshire and emphasized her longtime service to constituents. After three terms each as a state lawmaker and governor, Shaheen lost her first U.S. Senate race to Republican John E. Sununu in 2002 but ousted him in 2008, in part by portraying him as a lackey of President George W. Bush's administration.
This time, however, it was Shaheen who was blasted as a blind follower of the president as Brown, 55, took every opportunity to say Shaheen voted 99 percent of the time with President Barack Obama. He called her "confused" on foreign policy, criticized her for missing committee hearings and said the health care overhaul law she supported was a disaster for people and businesses.
Shaheen took Brown to task for missing Senate hearings on border security even though he made the issue one of the hallmarks of his campaign. She also criticized his vote to continue oil industry subsidies, saying he supported big corporations instead of the state's small businesses, and she warned women not to trust him on issues of equal pay, access to contraceptives and abortion rights.
One of the campaign's sharpest exchanges came when Shaheen highlighted Brown's sponsorship in 2003 and 2005 of bills in the Massachusetts Senate that would have required women to wait 24 hours before having abortions and to be provided with a variety of information, including images showing fetal development.
Shaheen's campaign ran an ad saying women would have been "forced" to view the images, which Brown called a "shameful" lie because the information could have been thrown away. Brown, calling himself a "pro-choice, independent Republican," said he had been protecting women since he was a child and his mother was beaten by his abusive stepfather.