Politics

Republicans Flood the Zone in Louisiana Senate Runoff

Foster Campbell tries to unite Democrats against daunting odds

John Kennedy, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Louisiana, has the full support of the GOP behind him as he heads into a runoff election on Dec. 10 against Democratic challenger Foster Campbell.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

National Republicans are pouring in support to Louisiana Senate candidate John Kennedy to smother any chance that Democrat Foster Campbell can pull off what would be a stunning upset in their Dec. 10 runoff.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is opening 10 offices across the state to aid Kennedy’s election, The Advocate reported.  In 2014, Republicans came out in masses to help Bill Cassidy defeat Democratic incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu.

Kennedy, the state treasurer, said he has received calls from Republican senators offering their help after he won the Nov. 8 open primary with 25 percent of the vote. Campbell finished second in the 24-candidate field with 17 percent. But more than 60 percent voted for Republican candidates compared to 36 percent who voted for Democrats.

Cassidy and retiring Sen. David Vitter endorsed Kennedy last week, a USA Today local affiliate reported. The Campbell campaign is trying to use Vitter and his 56-percent disapproval rating against Kennedy, calling Vitter “a morally bankrupt U.S. senator who could barely pass a bill during his time in the Senate.”

Campbell’s campaign said offers of support are streaming in. And state Democrats are “building the team,” according to Stephen Handwerk, the executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party, though he also added, “We haven’t finalized any plans yet.”

Campbell is also trying to mend fences with fellow Democrat Caroline Fayard, a lawyer who finished fourth in the jungle primary.

“We will meet to discuss the next steps soon,” Campbell said through a spokeswoman last Thursday. Fayard confirmed the conversation and planned meeting in a text to the newspaper, but added that she didn’t have anything else to say for now.

Kennedy and Campbell have agreed to a debate on Dec. 2 on Nexstar/WVLA in Baton Rouge while two other possible faceoffs are being negotiated.

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