BATON ROUGE, La. (UPI) — Louisiana voters elected Republican John Neely Kennedy to the U.S. Senate, giving the GOP a 52-48 advantage over Democrats.

The state treasurer defeated Democrat Foster Campbell, a public service commissioner, with 61-39 percent edge.

Kennedy earned 536,204 voters compared with 347,813 for Campbell with all of the precincts reporting.

Kennedy, 65, succeeds retiring David Vitter, a two-term Senate Republican.

“I’m humbled and honored by the overwhelming support from all over the state,” Kennedy said Saturday at a victory party. “Louisiana voters sent a clear message tonight and I’m ready to go to Washington, D.C., to fight for our people.”

Kennedy lost to Vitter in 2004 as a Democrat and to Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2008, one year after switching parties.

The five-time elected state treasurer Kennedy won a state that President-elect Donald Trump triumphed by 20 percentage points on Nov. 8. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence campaigned for Kennedy last week.

Campbell, 69, had received unwavering support from Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat

“We did everything humanly possible,” Campbell said in his concession speech. “We knew going into this race that it was going to be tough.”

The general election drew 24 candidates — Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents. Kennedy finished first with 25 percent and Campbell had 17.5 percent.

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