US President Donald Trump’s pick for Alabama’s Senate race has lost the state’s Republican primary to a firebrand Christian conservative.
Incumbent Luther Strange, 64, said he had called rival Roy Moore to concede the race.
“We wish him the best as he goes forward,” he told supporters.
Mr Moore is a populist former chief justice in the state, who rode to the voting booth on a horse named Sassy, and brandished a gun at a rally.
The news is likely to rattle Washington Republicans, including President Trump, who had confidently pitted Mr Strange against the party’s anti-establishment wing.
Mr Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence have both appeared with Mr Strange at rallies, while a political group linked to top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell is said to have spent nearly $9m (£6.7m) on his behalf.
The Senate seat was held by Jeff Sessions until February, when Mr Trump picked him to serve as US attorney general.
The president made his allegiance clear on 24 September, tweeting: “It was great being with Luther Strange last night in Alabama. What great people, what a crowd! Vote Luther on Tuesday.”
But within minutes of the result, he had thrown his weight behind the winning Republican candidate.