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Senator John Kennedy reelection speech

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BATON ROUGE - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy was elected to a second term on Tuesday, easily avoiding a runoff.

With votes still being tallied, the Republican lawmaker had secured about two-thirds of the total vote.

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The former state treasurer has become known on Capitol Hill for his outspoken, folksy responses and quotable sound bites. He has mostly provided a safe Senate vote for Republicans and been a strong supporter of Trump, who endorsed him.

Kennedy also raised an astounding $36 million in his reelection bid — 10 times as much as his Democratic challengers combined.

Though Kennedy was the clear favorite by political experts, 12 other candidates were vying for the position. Among the Democrats: activist Gary Chambers Jr. — who drew national attention earlier this year for an online video ad that shows him smoking marijuana while decrying racial disparities in drug arrests — Syrita Steib, who works to help formerly incarcerated women reenter society and Luke Mixon a commercial airline pilot.

Mixon gained the endorsement of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic governor in the Deep South. Both Mixon and the governor have military backgrounds and are described as moderate, or in some cases conservative, Democrats.

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