(WAFB/AP) - 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.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who endorsed fellow Democrat Foster Campbell in the race, issued a statement Saturday evening congratulating Kennedy.
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.