Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul endorsed Col. Rob Maness this week in the race to replace outgoing Louisiana Sen. David Vitter. Vitter announced he wouldn’t run for reelection when he launched an unsuccessful run for governor last year.
“The United States Senate is in desperate need of principled constitutional conservatives committed to protecting individual liberty and that is exactly why I am thrilled to endorse Col. Rob Maness for Senate in Louisiana,” Sen. Paul said in a statement. “He is a staunch believer in our 4th amendment rights and understands that to truly protect liberty, we must protect the ENTIRE Bill of Rights. Today I stand with Col. Maness and I hope you will stand with him too! I’m asking every lover of liberty in the Pelican State to vote for Col. Maness.”
Col. Maness, retired bomber squadron commander in the US Air Force, ran unsuccessfully for US Senate in 2014. Incumbent US Sen. Mary Landrieu and GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy each received around 40 percent of the vote on election day and advanced to a December run-off. Cassidy defeated Landrieu to capture the seat for Republicans. Maness, running a grass-roots campaign, captured 14 percent of the vote in 2014.
Maness has also been endorsed in the race by retired neurosurgeon and GOP Presidential candidate Ben Carson, GOP strategist Mary Matalin and a number of tea party and grass roots organizations.
There are 6 Republicans and 4 Democrats running to replace Vitter in the Senate. Louisiana holds a “jungle primary” on election day, November 8. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote on election day, the top two candidates, regardless of party, advance to a December run-off contest.
If a Democrat candidate were to advance out of the jungle primary, it is theoretically possible that control of the US Senate could be decided in the December run-off. It is more likely, though, that two Republicans will advance to the run-off.
The top Democrat candidate is Foster Campbell, the state’s Public Service Commissioner. Campbell ran unsuccessfully for Governor in 2007. He also lost three campaigns for Congress in the 1990s.
The Republicans have a crowded field to replace Vitter. Other than Maness, the top GOP candidates are US Reps. John Fleming and Charles Boutsany and John Kennedy, Louisiana State Treasurer. He was reelected Treasurer in 2015 with 80 percent of the vote.
“I’m blown away to earn the endorsement of Senator Rand Paul,” Col. Maness said.
There is no bigger champion of liberty in all of Washington than Senator Paul, and to receive his endorsement is truly an honor. From his courageous fight to defend our 4th amendment rights, to his steadfast stand against our 19 trillion dollar debt, he is exactly the type of Senator our founders envisioned. When I win this race, I’ll consistently be standing with him to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.