Democrat Leahy of Vt. wins 7th term in US Senate

Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., right, is joined by his wife, Marcelle, as they greet supporters in Barre, Vt. / AP photo

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) " The U.S. Senate's second-longest serving member is headed back to Washington.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont easily won re-election to a seventh term Tuesday, defeating GOP challenger Len Britton and five others.

The 70-year-old Leahy was first elected in 1974. He has earned a reputation as a liberal stalwart on such issues as government secrecy, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and U.S. Supreme Court nominations.

He amassed more than $4 million in contributions for his campaign and barely broke a sweat fending off political newcomers Britton and independent Daniel Freilich. Also in the race were independents Stephen J. Cain and Johenry Nunes, socialist Pete Diamondstone and United States Marijuana Party candidate Cris Ericson.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.