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Louisiana: Kennedy Hopes to Ride ‘Reform’ Wave to Senate

It came as little surprise last week when Louisiana state Treasurer John Kennedy (R) informed supporters that he was officially filing to challenge Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) in 2008.

It had long been assumed that Kennedy, who is a former Democrat, would challenge Landrieu. The two-term Senator is considered the only vulnerable Democrat in a Senate cycle where Republicans will be mostly on the defensive. Landrieu barely cleared 50 percent in her two previous Senate races.

In his announcement Thursday, Kennedy cited a Zogby International poll that he commissioned of 1,001 likely voters, which showed him beating Landrieu 45 percent to 38 percent with a margin of error of 3.2 points.

Kennedy was unopposed this year in his bid for a third term as state treasurer. In his announcement Thursday, he said he hopes to move the state forward under the “new reform leadership in Baton Rouge,” which is being organized under Gov.-elect Bobby Jindal (R), who won a landslide victory in October.

In a statement, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Ensign (Nev.) said, “Louisiana voters showed that when given the choice between politics as usual — symbolized by Mary Landrieu and Louisiana Democrats — or real change, real change wins in a landslide. We look forward to working closely with John Kennedy in order to give the voters of Louisiana a real choice next November.”

— John McArdle