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Baton Rouge activist says he’ll challenge Kennedy for Senate

January 12, 2022 GMT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Baton Rouge community activist Gary Chambers says he’ll enter this year’s Senate race in Louisiana against first-term incumbent John Kennedy, becoming the second Democrat to announce a challenge to the Republican.

Luke Mixon, a former Navy pilot, announced plans to run against Kennedy in October.

Chambers ran for Congress in 2021, campaigning to replace Cedric Richmond, who left his 2nd District seat to join the Biden administration. With a campaign making use of social media, and with less money than his opponents, Chambers had a strong third-place showing but just missed a runoff that was eventually won by Democrat Troy Carter of New Orleans.

In announcing his candidacy this week, Chambers outlined policies including support for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, advocacy for voting rights and for a “Medicare for all” national health plan.

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In Kennedy, the two Democrats face someone who has proven popular with voters, a former elected state treasurer endorsed by former President Donald Trump in a state Trump carried with 58% of the vote in 2020. Kennedy had $9.7 million in campaign cash as of last fall, according to the Federal Election Commission. Chambers’ Sept. 30 report showed about $170 on hand after spending about $400,000 in the House race. The FEC did not have data from Mixon’s campaign committee as of Wednesday.

The U.S. Senate election is scheduled for Nov. 8, 2022.