The Latest: New senator says his election represents change

AP News
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Posted: Dec 10, 2016 11:10 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on Louisiana's election (all times local):

10 p.m.

Louisiana's newly elected U.S. senator, Republican John Kennedy, says his campaign was about change in Washington.

Kennedy, the state treasurer, won Saturday's runoff election to fill the nation's last Senate seat.

Speaking to supporters, Kennedy said "Washington insiders" have taken the country in the wrong direction. But he added: "That's about to change, folks."

Kennedy's win over Democrat Foster Campbell, a state utility regulator, gives the GOP a 52-48 edge in the Senate when the new term begins next month.

The Republican had always been the runoff election's front-runner in a state that overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump. Kennedy pledged that he wanted to be a senator for "all Louisianians," including those who didn't vote for him.

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9:55 p.m.

Foster Campbell says his campaign did everything "humanly possible" in trying to win the Senate race in Louisiana and is giving special thanks to people across the country who contributed to his campaign.

Campbell spoke to supporters Saturday night after losing the U.S. Senate race to Republican John Kennedy.

He says he's called Kennedy to congratulate him.

Campbell says the support he received from people across the country was "phenomenal." He says people sent money and volunteered to help his campaign.

Campbell, a state utility regulator, received little assistance from national Democratic organizations but during the campaign he cited a surge of contributions from voters around the country after Democrat Hillary Clinton's loss to Republican Donald Trump.

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9:20 p.m.

Political upstart Clay Higgins has won Louisiana's runoff for the state's 3rd District U.S. House seat, defeating a fellow Republican once considered a lock on the job.

Higgins, a former sheriff's captain dubbed the "Cajun John Wayne" for his attention-grabbing Crime Stoppers segments, trounced Scott Angelle, a state utility regulator, in Saturday's election.

Angelle, third-place finisher in last year's governor's race, has been an elected or appointed official for nearly three decades. He had been the presumed front-runner since announcing his campaign, armed with more money and support than any competitors in the primary.

But Higgins tapped into national discontent with long-time politicians, characterizing his opponent as part of an "establishment machine" that needs to be uprooted.

The 3rd District covers southwest and south central Louisiana.

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9:10 p.m.

Republican Mike Johnson will head to Washington in January to represent Louisiana's 4th Congressional District.

The state lawmaker from Benton won Saturday's runoff election for the open seat, defeating Democrat Marshall Jones, a lawyer from Shreveport.

Johnson focused on his conservative record, both his decades as a constitutional attorney and his nearly two years in the Louisiana Legislature pushing social and fiscal conservative issues.

Jones ran as an anti-abortion, pro-gun Democrat who could work across party lines, trying to win crossover support in a district that has favored Republicans. He lost a similar bid for Congress in 1988.

The northwest Louisiana-based seat was open because Republican incumbent John Fleming ran unsuccessfully for a U.S. Senate seat. The 4th District is largely rural, stretching from the Arkansas line into southwest Louisiana, including the Shreveport area.

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8:45 p.m.

Louisiana voters have chosen Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy to fill the state's open U.S. Senate seat, giving the GOP a 52-48 edge in the chamber.

Saturday's election settled the nation's last Senate seat for the term beginning in January. Kennedy was the front-runner the entire time.

He defeated Democrat Foster Campbell, a state utility regulator whose chances were seen as such a long-shot that national Democratic organizations offered little assistance to Campbell's campaign.

The victory was a long-sought one for Kennedy, an Oxford-educated lawyer in his fifth term as treasurer. Kennedy had tried unsuccessfully twice before to win a U.S. Senate seat, running first in 2004 as a Democrat and the most recent two times as a Republican.

The seat is open because Republican David Vitter didn't seek re-election.

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8 p.m.

Polls have closed in Louisiana, where voters cast ballots in the nation's final three undecided congressional races.

The top race Saturday for an open U.S. Senate seat pitted Republican John Kennedy, the state treasurer, against Democrat Foster Campbell, a state utility regulator.

Kennedy is expected to take the seat and secure a 52-48 edge for the GOP in the Senate's new term. Campbell insisted the race was closer than polls showed.

Also up for grabs are two U.S. House seats.

In the 3rd District, voters chose between two Republican contenders: Scott Angelle, who has held public office for nearly 30 years, and Clay Higgins, a former sheriff's captain known as the "Cajun John Wayne."

The 4th District race was between two lawyers: Republican Mike Johnson and Democrat Marshall Jones.

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8 a.m.

The campaign season is ending in Louisiana a month later than the rest of the country.

Voters Saturday are deciding the nation's final three congressional seats in runoff elections.

Top of the ballot is the competition for an open U.S. Senate seat between Republican John Kennedy, the state treasurer, and Democrat Foster Campbell, an elected state utility regulator.

Kennedy is the front-runner in a state where Donald Trump won 58 percent of the vote. But Campbell has been getting a fundraising and social media assist from Democrats around the nation hoping to lodge a victory in their grim election cycle.

If Kennedy wins, the GOP would secure a 52-48 edge in the Senate when the new term begins Jan. 3.

Voters also are filling two U.S. House seats in Louisiana.