Republican incumbent Roy Blunt helps his party maintain control of the U.S. Senate next year by defeating Democrat Jason Kander in Tuesday’s general election. Blunt received about 49% of the vote to Kander’s 46%. Blunt dominated rural Missouri, offsetting Kander’s lead in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.

Secretary of State Jason Kander

Secretary of State Jason Kander

In a short concession speech to supporters, Kander says he’s concerned that many young voters won’t engage in the political process.

“That’s not okay. They need to know that’s not okay with me,” says Kander. “If there’s anything that we’ve done in this campaign that has inspired anybody in this generation, they need to know that I’m not okay with them stepping away. This country is a place that you’ve got to stay invested in. This is a country that has survived a Civil War. This is a country that has survived big, big challenges. This is a generation that has incredible capacity.”

Kander, who is Missouri’s Secretary of State, conceded more than five hours after the polls closed Tuesday. Final numbers had not been reported yet from all of the precincts in the Democratic strongholds of Kansas City and St. Louis.

The battle between Blunt and Kander was tight from the beginning. Ongoing polling consistently showed them virtually tied. The race was one of about a handful receiving national attention for possibly shifting the balance of power in the U.S. Senate next year.