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Midterm election: US Democrats hold Senate after Nevada win

November 13, 2022

Democratic candidate Catherine Cortez Masto has defeated Republican Adam Laxalt in Nevada's Senate race. The victory gives President Joe Biden's party more leverage on setting the legislative agenda.

Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto
Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has won a second term in office Image: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

US President Joe Biden's Democratic Party will keep control of the Senate, after picking up a seat in Nevada late Saturday. 

Democratic candidate Catherine Cortez Masto defeated Republican Adam Laxalt in the state's midterm election Senate race. Laxalt was endorsed by former Republican President Donald Trump

The two parties had been neck-and-neck after Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly kept his Senate seat in Arizona.

Adam Laxalt and Donald Trump at campaign rally
Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt was endorsed by former President Donald TrumpImage: Peter Dasilva/EPA-EFE

Democrats in control of Senate 

The victory means Democrats hold 50 seats in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as a tie-breaking vote. Republicans currently control 49 seats, with one more seat up for grabs during the Georgia runoff election scheduled on December 6.  

Even if Republicans manage to win an additional Senate seat in Georgia, Harris' tie-breaking vote will ensure that Democrats maintain effective control over the upper chamber.

With control of the Senate secured, Biden's administration will have a smoother process making Cabinet and judicial appointments, including potential openings on the Supreme Court. 

Democrats will also maintain control of Senate committees and be able to reject legislation passed by the House if Republican's win the 218 votes to have a majority in that chamber. 

The ballot count for the House is still underway in several states. Republicans are currently in the lead with 211 seats to the Democrats' 204. 

President Biden, currently on a tour of Asia, told reporters Sunday he was "incredibly pleased" by the midterm election results, adding Democrats are now focusing on winning the Georgia runoff. He said the Democrats performance was a "reflection of the quality of our candidates."

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer celebrated the win on Twitter, calling the election "a victory and vindication for Democrats, our agenda and our accomplishments, and for America and the American people."

Democrats also win Nevada secretary of state office

In addition, Democrat Cisco Aguilar was elected Nevada secretary of state, defeating Republican Jim Marchant.

Marchant was a member of a group of presidential electors that sought to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 victory in Nevada. He pushed for the state to eliminate voting machines, and claimed that all electoral victors since 2006 in Nevada had been "installed by the deep-state cabal."

In Nevada, a secretary of state has the power to set and enforce election rules.

Marchant lost a bid for election to the House of Representatives in 2020, after which he unsuccessfully sued to have the results overturned.

sdi/wd,wmr (AP, Reuters)

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