Louisiana: Rich Businessman Joins Kennedy in GOP Race

Posted April 21, 2008 at 6:46pm

In his much-hyped race against Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), state Treasurer John Kennedy (R) has drawn a primary challenge from conservative businessman Paul Hollis, New Orleans City Business reported on Monday.

Kennedy had spent his political career as a Democrat until switching to the Republican Party early last year in order to set up his run against Landrieu.

A primary challenge from the right would likely be more of an annoyance than a real threat to Kennedy, who already has secured the institutional support of national and local GOP leaders. But depending on how much Hollis is willing and able to spend on the race, he could bleed Kennedy of crucial campaign funding leading up to the September primary. And if Kennedy has to veer his message to the right to fend off Hollis’ attacks, that would only serve as fodder for Landrieu’s camp.

According to the New Orleans paper, Hollis, who started his own rare coin firm, “is prepared to personally invest in the campaign and says he has the ability to raise significant funds.”

— John McArdle