John Kennedy attempts to hold senate seat, avoid runoff election

Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 5:33 PM EST

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Voters across Louisiana will soon make their choice for one of the state’s two U.S. Senate seats.

Incumbent Republican Sen. John Kennedy is running against candidates from both parties in Louisiana’s open primary system. Kennedy is expected to win the most votes, but he needs to win 50 percent of the vote to avoid a run off election.

Kennedy has caught national attention with his pro law enforcement pitch to Louisiana voters, where in an advertisement, the incumbent says “If you hate cops just because they’re cops, the next time you get in trouble, call a crackhead.”

But Democratic challenger Luke Mixon says investing in the youth would be a better solution to crime than what Kennedy offers.

“It’s all talk,” Mixon said. “It’s all noise. He’s not really interested in solving the problem. He’s interested in identifying the problem, and using it for his own political benefit.”

University of Louisiana-Monroe professor Pearson Cross said whether you enjoy Kennedy’s style or not, he has a significant fundraising advantage to share his message with voters in the race.

“Kennedy has an unmatched ability to reach out to Louisianans if he wants to and say ‘this is who I am, and this is what I’m running for.’”

Kennedy had a commanding lead over Mixon in an October 12 Public Policy Polling poll, with a 53 to 16 percent advantage.

Cross said, given the Republican edge the state, and Kennedy’s strength relative to his opponents, he would not be surprised if the incumbent captured 60-66 percent of the vote.

“If he does his that, it will indicate to everybody that he is essentially unassailable,” Cross said. “That he is really in command of this particular Senate seat.”

If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will square off in a runoff election December 10.