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PHOENIX -- Republican Jeff Flake has beaten former surgeon general Richard Carmona in the race to fill Arizona's U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Jon Kyl.

Flake, a six-term Republican congressman, is best known for his fierce opposition to ``earmarks'' -- special requests for federal dollars for local pet projects such as roads and bridges.

Democrats recruited Carmona to run for Kyl's seat after it became clear that then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords wouldn't campaign because of head injuries she suffered during the January 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson.

Carmona has touted his career as a medical doctor, military service in Vietnam and law enforcement experience and accused Flake of hurting economic development in Arizona through his opposition to earmarks.

Arizona's last Democratic senator was Dennis DeConcini, who retired in 1995.

Associated Press,

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