The last U.S. Senate election in the United States takes place Saturday, December 10.  The contest is between two old hands in Louisiana politics.

Republican John Kennedy got his start as counsel to Gov. Buddy Roemer in 1988 as a Democrat.  In 1991, he ran for state attorney general and lost.  In 1996, he was appointed the Secretary of the Department of Revenue by Republican Gov. Mike Foster.

He was elected state treasurer in 1999, a post he holds until this day.  He has run for the Senate twice before.  In 2004, he ran as a Democrat in the race won by Republican David Vitter, finishing third with 15% of the vote.

In 2007, Kennedy switched to the Republican Party, then in 2008 ran for the Senate in the race won by Democrat Mary Landrieu.  He got 46% of the vote in that one.  All totaled, he has been involved in Louisiana politics for 28 years.

Foster Campbell, a lifelong Democrat, got his start when he won a state senate seat in 1976.  He would serve in that capacity until 2002 when he was elected Public Service Commissioner for District 5, defeating incumbent Don Owen, 51-49%.

Campbell has had his eye on Congress for quite a while.  He ran for the 4th District U.S. House seat in 1980, losing out to Buddy Roemer, who defeated one-term incumbent Buddy Leach.

louIn April 1988, a special election was held to  replace Roemer, who had been elected governor.  Campbell’s opponent was Jim McCrery, a Republican and former Roemer aide.  Campbell lost by 526 votes out of 126,654 votes cast.

His final try for the 4th District seat came in 1990 when he lost to McCrery 55-45%.   All totaled, Campbell has been involved in Louisiana politics for 30 years.

This time, one of the two will realize his dream of serving in Congress.     

The money picture

The two Senate candidates have filed the required campaign finance reports, which covers activity through November 20.

The race between Republican John Kennedy and Democrat Foster Campbell has drawn national attention.  Since the last report, which covered activity through October 19, Campbell has out raised Kennedy.

Between October 19 and November 20, Campbell raised more than $2.5. million compared with  Kennedy’s $1.5 million.

Campbell pointed out that his campaign finance report stretched 1,284 pages and shows that more than 50,000 donors gave an average of $44.73.  That was the result of Democrats from around the country trying to salvage one last Senate seat and repudiate Donald Trump’s victory.

Another distinct difference between Campbell’s report and Kennedy’s is that a mere .02% of Campbell’s contributions came from political action committees.  Kennedy, meanwhile took in more than 26% of his contributions from PACs, around $404,000.

Here are the campaign reports which include receipts and disbursements from January 1 through November 20:

Democrat Foster Campbell

  • Beginning Cash on Hand – $0.
  • Total Receipts – $4,255,514 of which $750,000 were loans to his committee.
  • Total Disbursements – $2,830,441.
  • Cash on Hand as of Nov. 20 – $1,425,073.

Republican John Kennedy

  • Beginning Cash on Hand – $0.
  • Total Receipts – $4,380,096.
  • Total Disbursements – $3,026,587.
  • Cash on Hand as of Nov. 20 – $1,353,508.

Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.