Laughlin received a huge amount of national support from Republicans hoping to encourage other elected Democrats to follow suit.
The result dismayed the establishment Republicans who had gotten behind Laughlin.
Then Laughlin switched parties as part of a concerted GOP effort to lure conservative Southern Democrats into the Republican fold.
Gaelic Lachlann, earlier Lochlann, literally "lake-" or "fjord-land," i.e. "Scandinavia;" as a name, denoting "one from Norway."