WASHINGTON -- Republicans far and wide congratulated GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden on his quick victory Tuesday.

McFadden clinched the primary election against state Rep. Jim Abeler within an hour of polls closing. McFadden had garnered about 74 percent of the primary vote with 36 percent of the precincts reporting at about 9:20 CT.

McFadden faces Democrat Sen. Al Franken this November.

"Mike McFadden is a problem solver who has proven he can build a winning coalition of Minnesotans who are tired of watching President Obama and Al Franken take this country in the wrong direction,” said Keith Downey, Republican party chair.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Sen. Jerry Moran, who applauded McFadden's fundraising prowess last month to a roundtable of reporters, said in a statement:

"Minnesota families, workers and seniors are tired of an inept, dysfunctional and incompetent government in Washington ... Mike McFadden's career in business demonstrates that he knows how to get things done."

And as McFadden's supporters heaped praise on the investment banker political newcomer, his liberal detractors criticized him for being too cozy with business.

"If elected to the U.S. Senate, McFadden would put special interests - including his billionaire supporters the Koch brothers - ahead of working families," said Carrie Lucking, executive director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota.

Franken, who won his own minor primary Tuesday, issued a statement an hour after polls closed.

"I've worked hard for Minnesota and I"m proud of my record of standing up for middle class families. I'd be grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the people of our state."

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