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Senator Richard Shelby re-elected for sixth term

Richard Shelby (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Richard Shelby (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

With only 62 out of 2522 precincts reporting elections results so far, the Associated Press has declared that Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama has been elected to a sixth term.

On Tuesday, Shelby easily defeated Democratic challenger Ron Crumpton. Crumpton is best known in the state as an advocate for legalizing medicinal marijuana.

The 82-year-old senator was first elected as Democrat in 1986, but switched to the GOP in 1994. He faced no significant opposition in 2004 and 2006, as right-leaning scorecards ranked him as one of the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate.

The Republican ran a more visible campaign this year, unloading a portion of a $19 million campaign war chest, during the GOP primary as challengers tried unsuccessfully to capitalize on an anti-Washington mood. However, Shelby easily won the primary.

“I want to thank the people of Alabama for once again placing their trust in me to serve as their U.S. Senator. This responsibility is one that I do not take lightly and I am honored by the support I received tonight. As we work together to advance conservative principles, my focus will be on policies that prioritize Alabamians and all Americans – not Washington. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to stand up on behalf of our great state and work towards a prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.” said Shelby.

Follow the 2016 election results here: