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Newsmaker: Lindsey Graham wins reelection over Jaime Harrison's well-funded challenge

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Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham (left) and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison. File/Jamie/Lovegrove/Staff 

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham survived the most threatening challenge of his political career in 2020, handily defeating Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison to win reelection in a race that drew more national money and attention than any South Carolina contest in history.

The 10-point victory means Graham, R-S.C., will represent the Palmetto State in the U.S. Senate for at least another six years — and potentially well beyond that. On the campaign trail, he often referenced the fact that Strom Thurmond held the same seat for almost 50 years, until he was over 100 years old.

The intense national interest in the race stemmed from Graham's increasingly polarizing reputation, beloved by Republicans and despised by Democrats for his staunch defense of President Donald Trump. 

Heading into 2021, Graham will be tasked with adapting to the new normal in Washington of a Joe Biden administration. He is on track to become the senior Republican on the budget committee.

Harrison, meanwhile, is the frontrunner to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee, positioning him to remain a fixture in both national and South Carolina politics for years to come.

Follow Jamie Lovegrove on Twitter @jslovegrove.

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