First-time candidate Mike Hill held the Hartlepool Parliamentary seat for Labour in the 2017 General Election - and immediately vowed to put the town on the map.
The seat was targeted by the Conservatives and UKIP as a possible gain after former MP Iain Wright announced he was standing down.
But voters in the town, which has been represented by a Labour MP since 1964, gave their backing to union official Mr Hill.
He said after the result was declared: “I am immensely proud to get such a mandate from the people of Hartlepool.
“There has been an amazing level of engagement across the town in the democratic process.
“I am proud of the people of Hartlepool for coming out in their droves, whichever way they voted.
“Their engagement was fantastic, in particular young and first-time voters.
“It’s a real honour to be voted in by the most wonderful people I have come across.”
Mr Hill was reduced to tears as he hugged his wife Glynis as it became clear he had won.
He added: “It’s an emotional experience. It’s being proud of an achievement and proud that people have had faith in a fresh face.
“I am a citizen of Hartlepool and it’s great to have their trust going forward.”
“It’s such a wonderful opportunity to stand tall for them and wave the flag for them so they are able to chase their ambitions, young and old.”
Asked how he intended to put the town on the map, he said: “By chasing every investment and business opportunity I can.
“We will rebuild communities, taking the positives that are here, and ending the negatives where we find them.”