BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - When Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, d ropped a bomb saying his days were numbered in the U.S. Senate, many thought of another Republican when talking about a successor.
"I want my country back. I'm afraid we're losing it," said Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy.
At the time, Treasurer Kennedy was just reelected overwhelmingly as the state's top tax man. Now, he said he wants to be a U.S. senator.
"Some of my colleagues call me a maverick, a misfit, a rebel, a square peg in a round hole," said Kennedy.
With his outsider attitude, Kennedy said America is in trouble. He said, unlike rising Health insurance costs and taxes, incomes are not up.
His rival, retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, feels a lot of the same cynicism. He pointed to concerns domestically and overseas.
"America's military is weaker than I've seen it in my 32-year career," said Maness. "Quite frankly, our allies don't trust us and our enemies don't respect us right now."
The colonel is expected to officially announce his candidacy Wednesday.
When asked if he intended to run the moment Sen. Vitter announced he would not seek reelection, Maness said, "I knew we were going to take a very hard look at it."
Answering the same question, Kennedy responded, "No, I didn't expect Sen. Vitter to step down."
Kennedy and Maness have both run before, both unsuccessfully.
Other candidates include a pair of congressmen: Rep. Charles Boustany from Lafayette and Rep. John Fleming from the Shreveport area.
"No one has demonstrated conservative Louisiana values in Washington more than I have," said Rep. Fleming.
Rep. Boustany's people in Washington issued a statement Tuesday reading in-part, "We will turn our economy around and make Louisiana the best place to live, work and raise a family."
The election is in November.