MINNEAPOLIS - Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar defeated Kurt Bills in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race, according to The Associated Press. The race was called just minutes after polls closed at 8 p.m.
Klobuchar earns a second term in the U.S. Senate. Polls leading up to the election showed her with a sizeable lead.
"I've always approached my job with one simple value, putting the people of Minnesota first and fighting for what's right, and that's what I will continue to do," said Klobuchar. "After this polarizing national election, we must stand together and renew our commitment to our country by renewing our economy, our democracy and our Congress."
Klobuchar's popularity, name recognition and big campaign fund kept big-name Republicans from stepping forward to challenge her.
Bills, a high school economics teacher and first-term state lawmaker, rode support from Ron Paul backers to become his party's nominee. But he had so little money he couldn't mount a major TV presence.
Klobuchar, a former county prosecutor, ran hard anyway. She played up several pieces of legislation she worked on with Republicans as evidence of her bipartisanship.
"Getting things done in Washington in the next few years is not going to be about standing by yourself and giving a speech," Klobuchar said. "The future will be in the hands of those who are willing to stand next to someone they don't always agree with for the betterment of this country."
(Copyright 2012 by KARE and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)