By: Savannah Smith | 12-11-2016 | News
Photo credit: The Goldwater

Riding high on Trump's Popularity, Kennedy Wins Louisiana Senate Runoff

The Republicans winning ways continue, riding high on the popularity of President-elect Donald Trump.

Republican John Neely Kennedy won a runoff election Saturday night in Louisiana for a seat in the U.S. Senate against Democrat Foster Campbell, sealing for the party a 52- seat majority in the chamber. Kennedy had claimed 63% of the vote.

Kennedy got ample support from the Republican leadership, especially from the successful tandem of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Trump is very popular in Louisiana where he won convincingly in the presidential election on November 8. In a strong show of party solidarity and support for Kennedy, Trump even flew to Baton Rouge for an election-eve rally on Kennedy's behalf. Pence had also campaigned earlier for Kennedy.

Celebrities campaigned for Campbell including Patton Oswalt and John Leguizamo, but that proved no match to Kennedy's savvy move to ride on the popularity of Trump in Louisiana.

Kennedy, 65, was previously a Democrat until he switched party affiliation in 2007. He placed first in a 24- candidate free-for-all primary which included former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Under Louisiana law, all candidates run in the general election, if no one seals a majority, the top two candidates move to a runoff.

Kennedy will succeed fellow Republican David Vitta who is retiring from politics. Kennedy spent the campaign strongly criticizing the " insiders" and was famously quoted for saying that " he would rather drink weed-killer than support Obamacare."

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