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Louisiana Republican John Kennedy easily wins Senate runoff

By Allen Cone
John Neely Kennedy speaks to supporters Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La., after defeating his challenger, Foster Campbell. <a class="tpstyle" href="https://www.facebook.com/JohnKennedyLouisiana/">Photo by John Neely Kennedy campaign/Facebook</a>
John Neely Kennedy speaks to supporters Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La., after defeating his challenger, Foster Campbell. Photo by John Neely Kennedy campaign/Facebook

BATON ROUGE, La., Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Louisiana voters elected Republican John Neely Kennedy to the U.S. Senate, giving the GOP a 52-48 advantage over Democrats.

The state treasurer defeated Democrat Foster Campbell, a public service commissioner, with 61-39 percent edge.

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Kennedy earned 536,204 voters compared with 347,813 for Campbell with all of the precincts reporting.

Kennedy, 65, succeeds retiring David Vitter, a two-term Senate Republican.

"I'm humbled and honored by the overwhelming support from all over the state," Kennedy said Saturday at a victory party. "Louisiana voters sent a clear message tonight and I'm ready to go to Washington, D.C., to fight for our people."

Kennedy lost to Vitter in 2004 as a Democrat and to Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2008, one year after switching parties.

The five-time elected state treasurer Kennedy won a state that President-elect Donald Trump triumphed by 20 percentage points on Nov. 8. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence campaigned for Kennedy last week.

Campbell, 69, had received unwavering support from Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat

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"We did everything humanly possible," Campbell said in his concession speech. "We knew going into this race that it was going to be tough."

The general election drew 24 candidates -- Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents. Kennedy finished first with 25 percent and Campbell had 17.5 percent.

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