BATON ROUGE — With Republican David Vitter exiting the U.S. Senate, contenders to fill the vacancy crammed into the first day of the signup period for the Nov. 8 election.

Fifteen candidates registered for the race Wednesday and more are expected over the next two days.

Among the GOP candidates who qualified were U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, former U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao, U.S. Rep. John Fleming, state Treasurer John Kennedy and New Orleans economic development official Abhay Patel. Democrats include New Orleans lawyer Caroline Fayard and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell. Former Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Troy Hebert registered for the

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