John Cornyn projected to win

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) attends a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on October 22, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Hannah McKay | Getty Images

Republican Sen. John Cornyn is projected to win reelection in Texas, according to NBC News.

He is set to defeat Democrat MJ Hegar, who offered the GOP lawmaker a tougher challenge than he has faced yet in his Senate career. As NBC News projected Cornyn’s victory in Texas, the presidential race there was still too early to call.

The senator’s projected victory gives Republicans a little more breathing room as they try to hold their 53-47 majority in the Senate.

Cornyn was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002. The third-term senator from San Antonio sits on the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.

Before representing the Lone Star State in the Senate, Cornyn served as a district judge, a member of the Texas Supreme Court and for one year as Attorney General of Texas.

Hegar, meanwhile, is a U.S. Air Force combat veteran who has not held public office. In 2018, Hegar narrowly lost a U.S. House race against Republican incumbent Congressman John Carter.

The Round Rock native served three tours in Afghanistan as a medevac pilot and earned the Purple Heart as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor.

Polling in the race had shown a slight lead for Cornyn.

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