Rand Paul elected in US Senate race

Rand Paul
Rand Paul

WASHINGTON (AP) - Tea party favorite Rand Paul in Kentucky is headed to the U.S. Senate.

Paul defeated Democrat Jack Conway Tuesday in the race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Jim Bunning, a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher. Paul upset the GOP establishment's choice in Kentucky's primary last May.

Former GOP Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana has picked off a Democratic-held seat and is on his way back to Senate after more than a decade's absence. Coats defeated Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth in the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh. Coats was a senator from 1988 to 1999.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, a conservative leader who boosted tea party candidates, has won a second term. And Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy has won a seventh term.