Congressman Todd Akin celebrated victory Tuesday in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. He'll face U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in November after defeating former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman and businessman John Brunner.
"Now tonight the primary is over and tomorrow the general election starts," he said. "Let me tell you exactly what this race is about: This campaign is about reclaiming our godly values, rebuilding the American dream and restoring the America we love."
Akin jumped into campaigning for November in his speech to supporters in St. Charles, drawing distinctions between himself and McCaskill. Akin promised to be the deciding vote to getting rid of Obamacare, and to protect and strengthen Medicare.
"The choice is clear, the time has come now to reclaim our values, to reclaim the American dream," he said.
Akin waited to speak to the crowd until after businessman John Brunner conceded the race. Akin took 36 percent of the vote to Brunner's 30 percent and Sarah Steelman's 29 percent.
Steelman was first to concede around 10 p.m.
Brunner's campaign manager Jon Seaton said the campaign wishes Akin well, but it's "too early to say" if Brunner will work on Akin's behalf. Brunner spent $7.5 million of his own money in the race.
"Voters did really like what they heard from John," Seaton said, adding that while it was too early to know the reason behind the result, there was a belief that "outside factors" might have taken a toll. Akin was buoyed by an endorsement by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee which likely helped in Southwest Missouri, while McCaskill and other Democratic Party sources poured ad money into the race that many believe helped boost Akin's chances.
McCaskill sent out a fundraising email to supporters by 10:49 p.m. saying Akin is "out of touch with working-class Missouri families," and asking people to help them raise $75,000 in the next week.
Akin supporters gathered at in St. Charles Tuesday night to await the results, clustered in groups. Some watched the Olympics on the big screen before the campaign turned to election results around 9 p.m.
Perry Akin, Todd Akin's son, said earlier in the evening he would be surprised if Akin didn't come out ahead in the St. Louis region.
Todd Akin ended up taking 45.65 percent of the vote in St. Louis County and 49.13 percent of the vote in St. Charles County.
"We're at the 50-yard line," he said.