Patrick Leahy was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1974, with 50 percent of the vote in defeating Republican Rep. Richard W. Mallary and Liberty Union Party candidate Bernard Sanders. Republican Sen. George D. Aiken retired instead of seeking re-election that year.
Leahy was re-elected in 1980, with 50 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Stewart M. Ledbetter, a financial consultant and a former banking and insurance commissioner.
Leahy was re-elected in 1986, with 63 percent of the vote, defeating former Republican Gov. Richard A. Snelling. He won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 1992 with 55 percent of the vote, defeating Republican James Douglas.
In 1998, Leahy defeated Republican Fred Tuttle with 72 percent of the vote.