RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Democrat Tim Kaine defeated Republican George Allen in their U.S. Senate race on Election Day, keeping the seat in Democratic hands and thwarting Allen’s attempt to regain the seat he lost six years ago.

Allen conceded the close race late Tuesday night, lamenting the loss after 19 months of campaigning. Allen had anticipated a broad backlash against Democratic President Barack Obama to lift his campaign, but Republican Mitt Romney was locked in a tight race before losing Virginia to Obama and provided no down-ticket coattails.

The two former governors were competing for the seat that retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb is vacating. Allen held the seat from 2001 to 2007, but lost it to Webb in an unfocused, gaffe-strewn re-election campaign.

After a bitter campaign that led the nation in campaign spending at more than $80 million, Allen said he called Kaine to congratulate him. “We still remain friends personally,” he said. As of Oct. 17, Allen had raised and spent about $12.5 million to Kaine’s $17.4 million. But Allen benefited from about 60 percent of outside spending totals of nearly $53 million.


The Associated Press and Velvet Hall contributed to this report.