December 14, 2016
John Kennedy’s channel to victory was dredged and clear from the beginning of the Louisiana Senate race. All he had to do was stay the course.
He did that Saturday (Dec. 10), handily beating Democrat Foster Campbell in the runoff to succeed retiring Sen. David Vitter, R-La.
“Somebody once said winning isn’t everything, and that’s true, but it sure does feel good,” Kennedy said from his victory party at the Embassy Suites in Baton Rouge.
A five-time elected state treasurer, Kennedy rode Louisiana’s inexorable bend toward the Republican party and the popularity of President-elect Donald Trump to win the elected post he has coveted for much of his public career.
Kennedy, 65, will join an emboldened Republican Party in Washington. The GOP kept its majority in the House and control of the Senate — Kennedy’s addition increased that lead to 52-48. Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and GOP congressional leaders have vowed to pursue an aggressive agenda on Day One.
The results confirmed Kennedy’s dominance despite Campbell’s attracting a late-inning surge of donations from Democrats distraught over Trump’s surprising Nov. 8 victory. After raising few outside funds for much of the campaign, the 69-year-old public service commissioner brought in more than $2.5 million in individual donations during the weeks just before and after the presidential election.
“We did everything humanly possible,” Campbell said in his concession speech. “We knew going into this race that it was going to be tough.”