Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet is declaring victory in a tight race against tea party Republican Ken Buck.
In a Facebook posting Wednesday morning, Bennet says, "Thank you to everyone who made this victory possible."
Bennet was clinging to a narrow lead over Buck. With 88 percent of the projected vote counted, Buck is leading by about 7,500 votes out of 1.4 million cast.
Bennet was appointed to the seat last year to replace Ken Salazar, who became Interior Secretary. Bennet painted Buck as too conservative on social issues. Buck hammered away at Bennet's support for the Democrats' agenda in Washington.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
DENVER (AP) -- Colorado's Senate candidates are preparing for a possible recount in their neck-and-neck contest.
Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Republican Ken Buck were within a few thousand votes of each other with more than 1.4 million ballots counted. Thousands of provisional and write-in ballots remained to be counted.
Some projections showed the race could end up within half of 1 percentage point. That would trigger an automatic recount under Colorado law, and parties said last week they'd be ready for such a scenario.
Elections officials have until Nov. 26 to verify the full vote and order a recount.
Bennet is seeking his first full term after being appointed to the seat last year. Buck courted tea party groups with a promise to cut spending and push for a federal balanced budget amendment.