Democratic Louisiana Senate candidate Foster Campbell released a new campaign ad Tuesday that accuses his Republican opponent, John Neely Kennedy, of being in the pocket of big oil companies.
“I want the big oil companies that helped damage our coast to help pay for coastal restoration. John Neely Kennedy is against that,” Campbell, a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, says in the 30-second spot.
“He’s in the pocket of big oil companies. That’s a shame. This is Louisiana’s coast, and it belongs to our people,” he adds.
Kennedy’s campaign didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
State officials plan a major restoration of Louisiana’s coastline, which has been ravaged by major storms and oil spills in recent years. But coastal restoration advocates have warned that the project is underfunded.
Campbell spokeswoman Mary-Patricia Wray told The Huffington Post on Tuesday that Campbell is “holding accountable the people who have damaged the coast.” She added that the plan to restore the state’s coastline is $50 billion short, and that oil companies ought to commit more resources to the task.
Campbell also portrays himself as a supporter of the Second Amendment in the ad. In its closing seconds, as he delivers a standard line approving the contents of the ad, Campbell appears to fire a shotgun.
The outcome of the runoff election for Louisiana’s open Senate seat could have far-reaching implications in Washington. Democrats are hoping to deny the GOP one additional vote once the new Congress convenes and keep the balance of power at 51-49. The razor-thin margin could create headaches for President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda.
The importance of the Dec. 10 runoff has not been lost on the Trump transition team. Vice President-elect Mike Pence is scheduled to campaign on behalf of Kennedy later this week.