GOP nets 52nd Senate seat in weekend runoff election

Republican John Kennedy crushes Democrat Foster Campbell in runoff election in Louisiana.

David Rosenberg,

Donald Trump campaigns with Louisiana Senate candidate John Kennedy
Donald Trump campaigns with Louisiana Senate candidate John Kennedy
Reuters

Republican Senate candidate John Kennedy has won Saturday’s runoff election, defeating Democrat Foster Campbell by more than 20%.

The win keeps retiring Louisiana Senator David Vitter’s seat in GOP hands, giving President-elect Donald Trump a 52 to 48 majority in the upper chamber of the legislature, the largest an incoming Republican president has enjoyed since Ronald Reagan won in 1980, when his party gained a 53-47 majority.

Vitter, who lost a gubernatorial bid in 2015, had been pressured to resign from the Senate over a prostitution scandal, after having admitted in 2007 to soliciting a Washington D.C. escort service.

Kennedy, who currently serves as Louisiana’s State Treasurer, leads Foster, a district Public Service Commissioner, in the vote count by a double digit margin, 61% to 39% in the two-way ballot.

Louisiana senate races are held under a “jungle primary” system, whereby a large number of candidates from both parties compete for the top two positions. Those two then compete in a runoff election with only two options on the ballot.

In the jungle primary on November 8th, Kennedy came in first with 25% of the vote, compared to Campbell’s second place showing with just under 18%. Former KKK leader David Duke won 3% of the vote in the jungle primary as a Republican, coming in 6th place.




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