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The News Store - Kennedy Promises Consistent Conservative Voice

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By Greg Hilburn

Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy said he would provide a consistent conservative voice in the Senate to temper what could be a Democratic-controlled White House and Congress.

Kennedy, who acknowledged a growing probability that Republican nominee John McCain won't win the presidency, said he would act as "a firewall" to thwart what he called the liberal policies of Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

"I still believe (McCain) will win, but I'm not naive," said Kennedy, who made three campaign stops in northeastern Louisiana on Tuesday. "But If I'm wrong, I think Louisiana now more than ever needs to send a conservative voice to Louisiana who will stand up for our state's values and principles."

Kennedy is running against two-term Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.

He spoke to about 35 farmers in Franklin Parish before stopping at Diamond Gun and Outdoor in Monroe and finishing the day at a National Rifle Association event in Ruston.

Kennedy trails Landrieu in the polls, but both campaigns expect the race to tighten in the final week.

"I don't know what direction we're going in America," Kennedy said. "I don't remember a time when two such honorable men (McCain and Obama) were running with such difference visions, and that spills over into the Senate.

"I said early on that my candidate was John McCain, and (Landrieu) said early on that her candidate was Barack Obama. There's a clear difference."

Kennedy told the farmers that if he wins he would "do everything I possibly can to get the help you need." Hurricanes Gustav and Ike caused $1 billion in agriculture losses, according to he LSU AgCenter.

But earlier this month Kennedy's campaign sent out a news release that praised U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., for blocking a disaster farm aid bill on which Landrieu was the chief sponsor.

Kennedy said on Tuesday that he has "always supported aid for farmers" and described Coburn and Landrieu as two children fighting on the playground.

"All I know is that the bill didn't pass," Kennedy said. "The difference between Mary and me is that I'm going to pass it."

Kennedy, who's been a part of state government since the 1980s, said he's not against government, but sees its limitations.

"If liberals take over Washington, Louisiana is going to need a senator who'll stand up to them," he said.

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