RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Democrat Tim Kaine won a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia on Tuesday, defeating Republican George Allen in a close race.
Kaine will fill the seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Senator Jim Webb in a state where Republicans have notched big gains in recent years.
Webb ousted Allen from the Senate job six years ago. Allen, son of Hall of Fame football coach George Allen, and a former governor of Virginia, conceded his latest defeat on Tuesday.
"It is a great night to be a Virginian," Kaine said at a victory party in Richmond. He, too, had once served as Virginia's governor.
Kaine interrupted his televised remarks to announce that NBC had declared Democratic President Barack Obama as the winner of the presidential race, news that sent those gathered at Kaine's party into an elated frenzy.
(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins in Richmond, Virginia; Additional reporting by Mark Felsenthal in Washington; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)