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|Kennedy announces for Senate at West Monroe rally|
State Treasurer John Kennedy wants to take the reforms that have swept across the state to the nation's capitol.
Kennedy, a Republican from Zachary, was on hand at the West Monroe Convention Center Wednesday to officially announce his candidacy to challenge U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat from New Orleans.
Kennedy called Landrieu "an honorable person" but said it is time to bring about change in Washington.
"And she's a very entertaining politician, so let's give her credit," Kennedy said. "But it's time for more than entertainment."
Kennedy pointed to Landrieu's record on oil and gas exploration as an example of the differences that separate the two candidates.
Kennedy said the current oil crisis could be averted if, among other actions, the Congress approved extracting some two trillion barrels of oil from shale deposits in Colorado and Wyoming.
"In late May, Mary Landrieu voted against allowing us to extract it," Kennedy said.
Kennedy also took aim at "earmarks," or line-item appropriations the Congress approves each year to fund projects in congressional districts throughout the country.
The 2008 federal budget included more than $17 billion in earmarks. Kennedy said he would work to end the practice.
Kennedy also took aim at federal immigration laws and said Congress was responsible for many of the problems the country is experiencing with illegal immigration.
"We are a nation of immigrants and we are proud of that," Kennedy said. "But Congress needs to enforce the laws" that currently are in place to thwart illegal immigration.
Meanwhile, Kennedy said he favored giving the president line-item veto authority over the federal budget, meaning the president would be able to eliminate specific expenditures from the nation's $3.1-trillion budget.
Additionally, Kennedy said he supported a balanced budget amendment, and he believes any tax increase must pass the Congress with a two-thirds vote.
Kennedy said he decided to call his statewide bus tour the "Stand Up Louisiana" tour because the name was fitting.
"I think Stand Up Louisiana is the right name because that's what people across this state are doing," Kennedy said. "They are standing up against old fashioned Louisiana politics."
Kennedy will first appear on the ballot in the Sept. 6 Republican Party primary. If he secures the Republican nomination, he will face Landrieu in the Oct. 4 primary election. A run-off election, if needed, will be held Nov. 4, or in conjunction with the presidential election.