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Third District U. S. Rep. Clay Higgins speaks during a Republican rally last year in Lafayette. Higgins faces three challengers in the Nov. 3 election.

UPDATED 8:42 PM

Controversial Acadiana Congressman Clay Higgins, known for his bombastic statements, won a third term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

With the early and absentee mail ballots counted in six of the district's 10 parishes, Higgins has jumped to a 34,000 vote lead to his nearest competitor. None of the ballots cast today have been counted yet.

The Associated Press called the race.

He was leading three challengers Tuesday in his bid for a third term in Congress.

Higgins, a former car salesman who earned fame after becoming a law enforcement officer, was capturing --- of the vote with --- of the vote in the district, which covers the southwest part of the state.

Democratic candidates Rob Anderson and Braylon Harris, along with Libertarian Brandon LeLeux had started out slow in the returns.

Higgins has long been known for his tough talk on crime, wearing military-style gear in the popular Crime Stoppers segments on local television. He sparked controversy earlier this year when he said social justice protesters in Louisiana should be met with deadly force.

He enjoyed a huge financial lead throughout the race.

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Email Will Sentell at wsentell@theadvocate.com.