Sen. Bob Corker coasted to re-election Tuesday, defeating his Democratic challenger Mark Clayton by nearly 800,000 votes.
Late Tuesday, unofficial results showed Corker garnering nearly 70 percent of votes cast in Tennessee, with Clayton scoring approximately 26 percent of the vote. Several Independent and third-party challengers also were listed on the ticket.
Corker’s victory sends him to a second term in the U.S. Senate and followed an election drastically different from the one he faced to initially win in 2006.
The senator celebrated his victory at a campaign event in Nashville.
Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor, never faced a serious challenge in his first bid for re-election to the Senate. His Democratic opponent, Mark Clayton, was a conservative activist and resident from Whites Creek who won the party’s nomination in August without spending a single dollar on his campaign.
At the top of the ballot in a field of candidates with no clear frontrunner, Clayton was soon disavowed by the Tennessee Democratic Party and would later be labeled “America’s worst candidate” by The Washington Post. Regardless, Clayton ran on a platform opposing several policies supported by Corker during his first term.
Corker, 60, will return to Washington and find himself in a likely position to become the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Corker also serves on the Senate committees for Banking, Energy and Natural Resources and is ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.