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Louisiana State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy defeated Democratic challenger Foster Campbell to replace outgoing Sen. David Vitter and maintain the small but solid majority for Senate Republicans at 52 seats heading into the 115th Congress.

The race was the last hope for Democrats who had hoped to make a statement after President-elect Trump’s upset victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month. However, their efforts proved futile as Kennedy ran away from Campbell in Saturday’s election.

Kennedy’s win comes only a month after he finished first in the state’s jungle primary, topping the 23 other candidates with 25 percent support. Campbell took 17 percent, good enough for second place to set up a two-way contest with Kennedy.

Kennedy also had a built in advantage heading into Saturday as Louisiana overwhelmingly supported Trump in the general election. Trump defeated Clinton by nearly 20 points (58.1-38.4 percent). He also led by a wide margin heading into Saturday, leading a recent poll by 14 points (52-38).

In the final week of the campaign, Kennedy received a major boost in the form of visits from Trump and Vice President-elect Pence.

The president-elect made his stop in Baton Rouge on Friday, where he railed against illegal immigration as a “nightmare of violence” and called on his backers to also support Kennedy in Saturday’s election.

“That’s why I’m here. He’s a great guy. He’s a good guy. Number One, he’s a good person,” Trump said. “If he doesn’t win, I’ve got myself a problem in Washington.”

Pence appeared last Saturday in a New Orleans at a Republican Party of Louisiana event, where he touted Kennedy and called on voters to put an “exclamation point” on the campaign season for Republicans and cement the Senate majority for the party.

The race also was the last stand for Democrats who hoped to respond positively to Clinton’s loss last month. Some Democrats vocally called on Clinton supporters to support and contribute to Campbell’s campaign in the final weeks rather than to Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s long shot bid to force recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — three key states that Trump won over Clinton by slim margins.

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The win for Kennedy, who has served as the state’s treasurer since 2000, comes in his third Senate campaign, having run in 2004 and 2008. The seat is also being vacated by Vitter, who announced that he would not seek re-election after losing out to John Bel Edwards for the state’s governorship last year.

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