Last night, Senator John McCain handily defeated former Congressman J.D. Hayworth in Arizona's highly publicized Republican primary election.

     In a year full of "anti-establishment" feelings and rhetoric, McCain, who turns 74 on Sunday, was originally seen as vulnerable to Hayworth, 52,  who branded himself as a true conservative in comparison to McCain's "mavericky" ways.  Hayworth attempts to appeal to Tea Party activists however wasn't enough to overcome McCain's vigorous campaigning. 

     The former presidential candidate didn't take his reelection for granted, spending $20 million according to the Arizona Republic, unprecedented in an Arizona U.S. Senate race.  McCain also got help from his former vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin, Massachusetts Senator and Tea Party poster boy Scott Brown, and former Massachusetts governor and Latter-day Saint Mitt Romney who spoke at an event in Mormon heavy Mesa.

     "I'm happy with the win - we had to do what it takes," McCain said Tuesday night in an interview with The Arizona Republic. "As you know, this is an anti-incumbency environment and I had to prove to the Republican voters of Arizona that I can be the most effective person for them in these very difficult times."

      McCain's campaign attacked Hayworth's claims of being a Washington "outsider", citing his time in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2007.  McCain pulled away in the polls when it was revealed Hayworth appeared in a late-night infomercial about free government money programs in 2007.

     "The thing I would like to stress: We may not like the results, but we abide by the results," Hayworth told disappointed supporters at the Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale. "Elections are clarifying moments. Our fellow Arizonans believe the other candidate will be a better custodian of their wants. We gather amidst disappointment but the cause endures. Despite challenges, America's best days still lay ahead."

     In addition, fellow incumbent and Republican Jeff Flake of the staunchly conservative 6th district won his primary for the House of Representative.  Flake's opponent ran on a theme similar to that of Hayworth's, calling on voters to oust "establishment" candidates who were allegedly not conservative enough.


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