Republican Bill Cassidy handedly defeated Democratic incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu in the runoff for the Louisiana Senate seat Saturday, according to the Associated Press and other sources.
The victory ousted Landrieu from the seat she has held for 18 years. For the first time since she was 23 years old, Landrieu will not hold political office.
Landrieu’s fellow Democrats abandoned her, including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), which withdrew its $2 million ad buy for the runoff after Democrats lost control of the Senate in November. Her Senate colleagues also declined to join her in voting to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, a last ditch failed attempt by Landrieu to demonstrate her "clout."
Landrieu also failed to convince voters that Cassidy, a gastroenterologist, was a "fraud" paid to do nothing while working at LSU, an accusation she used repeatedly during the last week of the election.
Landrieu was dragged down by the unpopularity of Obamacare in Louisiana, reports questioning her residency in Louisiana, and her admission to using $34,000 in taxpayer funding on charter flights to attend campaign events.
With the win, Cassidy becomes the 54th member of the Republican Senate majority. Cassidy has said he hopes to use his nearly three decades experience working in a hospital for the uninsured to tackle the issues of Obamacare and flaws in the Veterans Affairs health system.