RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Congressman Ted Budd has won North Carolina's Senate race, maintaining a Republican hold in a battleground state that will be key in determining which party controls the chamber.
Budd edged out Democratic challenger Cheri Beasley, who formerly served as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Current Senator Richard Burr, a Republican who has served since 2005, announced his plans to retire after this term.
"Thank you to the people of North Carolina," Budd said. "Amy Kate and I are humbled and honored you have selected me to serve you as North Carolina's next U.S. Senator.
"Campaigning in all 100 counties across our state, I've seen first-hand folks suffering under Joe Biden's economic policies that are crushing family budgets," Budd added. "Biden and his allies want more from you and I want more for you. With their votes today, the people of North Carolina have sent a clear signal that the Biden agenda is wrong for America. It's time to start creating jobs again instead of destroying jobs and I'm ready to fight for that in the US Senate."
WATCH: Budd addresses supporters after victory
Budd, who has served in Congress since 2017, fended off a strong challenge in the Republican primary from several notable candidates, including former Gov. Pat McCrory and former Congressman Mark Walker. Buoyed by an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, Budd opted to skip debates during the primaries, instead relying on support from the party's base in eventually coasting to a comfortable victory.
Burr, who Budd is replacing, voted to convict former President Trump on the article of impeachment in February 2021, stemming from the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, surrounding claims of fraud in the 2020 election. Budd voted against certifying electoral votes in the 2020 election; the NCGOP would ultimately vote to censure Burr for his vote.
"Congratulations to Senator-elect Ted Budd and the rest of our North Carolina Republicans, whose wins tonight pave the way for balance in Washington," said RNC Spokeswoman Taylor Mazock. "North Carolinians are tired of Biden and Democrats' 40-year high inflation, rising gas prices, and weak on crime stances. Together these Republicans will work to get this country back on track."
In her concession speech, Beasley thanked supporters and her family.
"I'm so proud of the race we have run," she said. "I'm proud that all along we stayed true to our mission - that this would be a race about the people, not politics. Even when others didn't, we believed in North Carolina - and I do still.
"This isn't the outcome we wanted, but we have made history in North Carolina," Beasley added. "Tonight, I'm thinking of all those before me who blazed their own trails so that I could reach the end of this one."
WATCH: Beasley delivers concession speech to supporters
Beasley's two main opponents (Jeff Jackson and Erica Smith) in the primaries both dropped out to run for lower-level races, allowing her to save the majority of her notable fundraising figures for the general election.
Throughout the course of the race, Budd focused his messaging on inflation and crime, attempting to connect Beasley to the policies of President Joe Biden. Beasley meanwhile attacked Budd's position on reproductive rights and touted her judicial experience while hoping to appeal to a broad coalition in a state where the largest group is unaffiliated voters.
Polls showed a tight race, with the candidates often separated by a few percentage points, though Budd had gained momentum in the final month, similar to Republican candidates across the country.
Beasley, who would have been the state's first Black senator and third female senator, is holding an event at the Raleigh Sheraton. Budd is expected to deliver his victory speech at the Downtown Marriott in Winston-Salem; Budd was born in the city and received his MBA from Wake Forest University School of Business.
Other candidates in the race included Matthew Hoh of the Green Party and Shannon Bray of the Libertarian Party.
Budd cast his vote earlier Tuesday in Davie County and will be gathered with supporters this evening in Winston-Salem.
"I think people are responding well to Ted Budd's message of helping get America back to work again, helping to get the economy up and running again," Jonathan Felts, Budd's campaign manager said earlier Tuesday. "We've been in recession now thanks to (President) Joe Biden and we have to get folks to work."
Beasley, meanwhile, was watching the results with supporters at a hotel in Raleigh. She was hoping to make history as the state's first Black U.S. senator.
Beasley, who previously served as chief justice on North Carolina's Supreme Court, toured polling locations in Fayetteville earlier Tuesday, hoping to reach voters and make that final push.