FILE - NH Jeanne Shaheen, Corky Messner

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Republican challenger Bryant "Corky" Messner

(The Center Square) – Bryant “Corky” Messner was declared winner of the Republican primary in New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate race Wednesday.

With roughly 96 percent of precincts reporting, Messner was leading opponent Don Bolduc by roughly 7.5 percent percentage points, WMUR 9 reported.

"This has been a competitive primary," Messner said in a WMUR post. "Last summer, I polled at 1%, and I worked really hard. And we're not going to celebrate; we're going to unify."

The expectations for Messner had grown after he was endorsed by President Donald Trump.

The Wolfeboro resident also was endorsed by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and the National Association for Gun Rights, according to Ballotpedia.

Messner, an Army veteran and head of the Messner Reeves LLP law firm, ran on a pledge to bring manufacturing jobs to New Hampshire and the rest of the country, to keep small business taxes low, and to cut government regulations.

"I think the main difference is as a leader in the military, leadership in the civilian world, as a job creator, as a problem solver out in the business world, helping small businesses, understanding small businesses, understanding what it takes to make the economy work," Messner said in the WMUR post. "So, I have a very broad base of experience."

Messner will be facing incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in the Nov. 3 general election.

“I humbly thank the voters of New Hampshire for their support,” Messner said in a news release on his campaign website. “Granite Staters are tired of career politicians and Washington bureaucrats. They deserve a U.S. Senator committed to individual liberty and economic freedom, a political outsider who understands how to revitalize our economy and bring common sense and New Hampshire values to the issues we face.”