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Republicans sweep final races for Congress in 2016

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The voters of Louisiana did not take any sort of detour in their final runoff elections for Congress on Saturday, as they overwhelmingly voted to keep a U.S. Senate seat in Republican hands, and elected a candidate to Congress who seemed to channel Donald Trump, known as the “Cajun John Wayne.”

Elected to the U.S. Senate was Republican state treasurer John Kennedy; his win gives the GOP a 52-48 seat advantage when the Senate convenes in January.

That means Democrats gained two seats in the November elections, defeating GOP incumbents in Illinois and New Hampshire, but fell short of taking back control of the Senate.

“Voters in Louisiana and across the country made it clear this year they are eager for a new direction from the White House,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In the House, Republican Mike Johnson defeated a Democrat in the runoff for Louisiana’s Fourth Congressional District, and Clay Higgins won an all-GOP battle for the Third District seat.

That means the GOP will start with a 241-194 edge in the U.S. House; Democrats were able to gain six seats in the 2016 elections.

While Democrats had a candidate for the Senate in Louisiana, the final numbers were not even close, as Kennedy won well over 60 percent of the vote.

Some more liberal groups had complained that national Democrats were wrong to ignore the race, hoping to harness a possible backlash against President-Elect Trump, but there was no sign of any such momentum for the Democrats in the Bayou State.

It’s possible Democrats may lose a seat in the Senate in coming weeks, if Mr. Trump picks Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for a Cabinet position. Her home state of North Dakota has a Republican Governor, who would then be able to appoint someone from his party to that Senate seat.


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