Republican Bob Corker beat Democrat Harold Ford Jr. in a closely watched race for the U.S. Senate.

Corker, former mayor of Chattanooga, turned back Ford's effort to become the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction.

Corker held the seat for Republicans, succeeding Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

Democrats were counting on the seat to gain a majority in the Senate.

Ford, a congressman from Memphis, portrayed the race as a referendum on President Bush and Republican policies of the past six years. Corker painted Ford as a Washington insider.

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