PHILADELPHIA — Republican Pat Toomey beat Democrat Joe Sestak to win Pennsylvania's open U.S. Senate seat Tuesday, according to unofficial returns.
With over 98 percent of the districts counted, Toomey had nearly 51 percent of the vote, to Sestak's 49 percent.
The Senate race presented voters with a clear ideological choice between a Democrat occupying his party's left flank and a conservative Republican leader.
Sestak, a former Navy admiral and second-term member of the U.S. House from Delaware County, has been a loyal ally of President Obama, backing the financial-system bailouts begun under President George W. Bush, the federal stimulus package, and the overhaul of the health-care insurance system.
Toomey, who began his career as a Wall Street investment banker and later helped start a family chain of sports bars, is a staunch conservative who represented a Lehigh Valley district in the House from 1999 to 2005. After that, Toomey was head of the Club for Growth, a Wall Street-backed free-market advocacy group that campaigns for lower taxes and less regulation on business.
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