Updated: GREENWICH, Conn. -- Stating he was "fired up and ready to go," U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal promised more hard work to come after easily coasting to victory Tuesday night to grab his second term in the U.S. Senate.
He defeated a challenge from Republican Dan Carter of Bethel, who stepped down from his seat in the state House to run against Blumenthal.
During his nine-minute acceptance speech, Blumenthal mentioned a number of issues, including college affordability, veterans rights, gun control, and women's health, that he said have to be tackled.
"We need to fight a lot of these fights right now and win them right now,” he said.
He also spoke of the country as a nation of immigrants and spoke about his father, Martin, who arrived as a 17-year-old from Germany with few prospects but a country that welcomed him.
"We are the greatest nation in the world because we build bridges not walls,” he said.
Blumenthal praised his fellow state Democrat in the U.S. Senate, Chris Murphy.
“I don't think there is a closer relationship in the United States Senate among two senators than between Chris Murphy and myself,” he said.
"I am a better public servant bc I learned this job watching @SenBlumenthal speak truth to power. Well deserved big win, partner," Murphy said via Twitter Tuesday night.
Carter, who gained the endorsement of the state Republican Party, was a last-minute candidate, putting his hat in the ring just days before the State Convention.
It was a fairly quiet campaign, with only one debate and few sparks of controversies between the two.
Blumenthal is ranked the seventh wealthiest member of Congress, with a net worth of about $67 million. Blumenthal's wife is the daughter of Peter L. Malkin, a controlling partner of the Empire State Building and Malkin Holdings, a commercial real estate venture.
Blumenthal was first elected in 2010 as he defeated Republican Linda McMahon, a fellow Greenwich resident. The Senate seat was vacant due to the retirement of longtime Sen. Chris Dodd, a fellow Democrat.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Blumenthal is a Harvard graduate who earned his law degree at Yale Law School where he was a classmate of Hilary and Bill Clinton. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1970 to 1976.
He was U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut from 1977 to 1981. He was a state representative from 1984 to 1987, until he was elected as a state senator. He became the state's Attorney General in 1990 and served for 20 years, establishing himself as a strong advocate for consumer protection.
He is the state’s senior senator, with fellow Democrat Chris Murphy as the state’s junior senator.
Blumenthal was able to overcome controversy in the 2010 election with his false claim that he had served in Vietnam. However, he still cruised to victory over McMahon by collecting 55 percent of the votes cast.
In Congress he is the Ranking Democrat on the Committee on Veterans' affairs and also sits on the Judiciary, Armed Services and Commerce, Science, and Transportation committees.