NBC News reports that U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona has lost the Arizona senate seat in a competitive race against Republican congressman Jeff Flake.
Dr. Carmona, who is of Puerto Rican, served in the Bush administration as U.S. Surgeon General. A decorated combat veteran and native of New York City, Carmona made headlines early in the race with his pro-choice stance on abortion and support of same-sex marriage. The 62-year-old was a registered Independent until with his bid for Senate, he changed his affiliation to Democrat.
Recently the subject of a derisive campaign ad by opponent Flake, Carmona was considered by many political scientists as a surprising challenger in the highly partisan state.
“Carmona was a big surprise. When he announced his candidacy very few people believed that a Democrat could challenge a Republican candidate so well-known in Arizona,” Richard Herrera, a political science professor at Arizona State University, told Efe.
According to polling firm Latino Decisions, Carmona earned 83 percent of the Latino vote in Arizona, while Flake earned 17 percent.