McConnell was first elected to the Senate in 1984. That year, he was the only Republican challenger in the country to defeat a Democrat incumbent, and the first Republican to win a statewide race in Kentucky since 1968. McConnell’s landslide victory in 2002 is also one for the record books: On November 5, he won a fourth term with 65 percent of the vote, the largest margin of victory for a Republican in Kentucky history. The previous record was held by the legendary Senator John Sherman Cooper. On June 27, 2005, McConnell became the longest-serving Republican Senator from Kentucky, again breaking a record previously held by Cooper.