Sen. Patty Murray was elected to a fifth term in the U.S. Senate, making the Democrat one of the longest-serving senators in Washington history, NBC News reports.

Murray defeated Republican Chris Vance, who was seeking to become the first Republican elected to the Senate from the state since 1994.

Polls showed Murray leading Vance before the election, and some political experts had predicted a decisive Murray victory, given her reported fundraising advantage.

Vance made headlines earlier this year by denouncing Donald Trump shortly after he became the GOP nominee. Calling himself a "different kind of Republican," Vance launched his campaign on a platform of overcoming congressional gridlock in a "severely broken" Washington, D.C. Pointing to her 24 years in office, Vance criticized Murray as "part of the problem."

Meanwhile, Murray touted her ability to work across party lines and get things done in a divisive environment, spotlighting her work in 2013 with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan to end a federal budget stalemate. She also worked with Republican U.S. Sen. Lemar Alexander of Tennessee last year to rewrite the federal education law, also known as No Child Left Behind.

On the issues, Vance has said he strongly supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, criticized by both Trump and by Senator Bernie Sanders, D-Vt. Murray said she will evaluate the proposal once it comes in, specifically how it will impact labor and the environment.

On gun control, Murray supports a ban on high-capacity magazines and assault rifles. Vance doesn't support a ban, instead favoring stronger background checks.

Regarding the federal minimum wage, Murray wants to raise it to $12 an hour by 2020; Vance says while the current $7.25 is too low, the proposal would hurt small businesses.

Murray was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, becoming the first female U.S. senator from Washington state. She was re-elected in 1998, 2004 and 2010, and has served as the Senate Majority Conference Secretary since 2007, making her the fourth-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate. She is the 12th most senior member of the Senate.

Murray has chaired a number of Senate committees, including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Senate Budget Committee, and co-chaired the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Since January 2015, she's been the Democratic ranking member of the Health, Education Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee. Within the Appropriations Committee, Murray is ranking member of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and has also served on the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

Chris Vance, served in the State House of Representatives from 1991 to 1993, and is a term-term member of the King County Council, serving from 1994 to 2001. He left the council to become chairman of the Washington State Republican Party from 2001 to 2006.

Related: Murray acceptance speech (closed captioning)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.