Sen. Susan Collins declares victory, says Democrat rival conceded Maine race

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine declared victory Wednesday in a race that further narrowed Democratic hopes of taking control of the upper chamber of Congress.

Collins told cheering supporters that she’d “just received a very gracious call” in which Sara Gideon, Democratic speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, conceded the race.

“I feel that this is an affirmation of the work that I am doing in Washington to fight hard every day…for the people of Maine,” Collins said, according to video posted online by The Hill.

Collins also said her win was “an honor that is historical, as well.”

“I am the first person, since Maine directly elected its senators, to win a fifth term” she said while standing outdoors at a lectern in front of her campaign buses.

Collins was among seven Republican senators whose re-election bids were considered toss-ups, and her victory makes her the fourth to overcome that challenge.

Republicans control the Senate 53-47, meaning Democrats need a net gain of four seats to tip the balance of power.

Democrats have flipped two seats, in Arizona and Colorado, but Republicans flipped a seat in Georgia, according to Fox News projections.

Collins’ win leaves just five remaining Senate races undecided, according to those projections.

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