|| by Will Galloway ||
Columbia – For most Americans, the 2016 election has been over for months, but for residents of the Pelican State, the election rages on in a battle for a vacant U.S. Senate campaign that has become a proxy war between national political forces.
After the scandal-marred Sen. David Vitter lost in his gubernatorial bid to democrat John Bel Edwards, he announced he was retiring from the Senate. This announcement sparked a massive open primary with over 20 candidates from the arch-conservative Rep. John Fleming to far left lawyer Caroline Fayard and even disgraced white nationalist David Duke. From the jungle primary emerged republican State Treasurer John Kennedy and democrat Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell who will face off in a runoff on December 10.
The race has emerged as a potential consolation prize for national democrats, who have traveled en masse to Louisiana to boost Campbell. Likewise, national Republicans, eager to cap off an election rout, have dispatched Vice-President Elect Mike Pence to rally support for Kennedy.
Could Campbell win the race? Probably not. In the jungle primary on November 8th, the combined republican field took upwards of 70% of the vote, and President-elect Trump carried the state by 20 points.
Even if Campbell comes up short, a better than expected showing will add fuel to the fire that the left has lit in the wake of Trump’s unexpected victory, and perhaps give birth to a tea party of the left that could antagonize Republican leaders for the next four years.