Louisiana Politics Open Thread: Return of the Ex-Con

I figured sense politics is either so much fun or extremely painful for us here in Louisiana, I’d give folks a chance to learn what’s going on as well as offer Louisiana residents a real chance to share their views. Here goes nothing.

U.S. Senator David Vitter to Run for Governor

For those of you not in Louisiana, you know of David Vitter in one of two ways: He’s the guy who had the amendment to force Congress and their staff to go into the health exchange. He’s also a guy who was involved with the D.C. Madam Scandal, and not in a Family Values way. I use that specific phrasing because he was a guy who ran on a platform of family values to get into office. He’s faced two statewide races, both for Senate including a 2010 re-election against Charles Melancon, a Congressman who waged full-scale war on Vitter through the War on Women strategy. It failed.

He’ll be up against a couple other guys who have also run statewide – Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and State Treasurer John Kennedy. Neither of those are stellar on a conservative scale. John Kennedy I especially have a problem with. He ran against Vitter once before in a Senate race – as a Democrat. In 2008, he ran against Mary Landrieu as a Republican. He’s been a State Treasurer since 1999. Dardenne has been the Lt. Governor since 2010, and was Secretary of State before that, assuming the office in 2006.

Almost all polling shows Vitter ahead of everyone else. The only person who polls higher is Phil Robertson, because of course people keep polling with him in the mix. I’m looking at you, PPP.

Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District

When I was originally planning this post, I thought it would be enough to just mention the Republican candidates. There are a lot of them, including Paul Dietzel, who posted a Millennial’s Response to the State of the Union right here at RedState. Along with him are some interesting candidates.

  • Dietzel is an LSU grad, young and a small businessman.
  • Charles “Trey” Thomas III is a former LSU player and currently is a doctor of education. He’s also Executive Director of Family Values Resource Institute.
  • Cassie Felder is a Baton Rouge lawyer.
  • Dan Claitor is a State Senator, and has been for about five years. Also a lawyer and has served on a host of legislative committees.
  • Norman Clark is a Ph.D. candidate at LSU and a U.S. House candidate in LA-6. He’s a political science student.
  • Craig McCulloch is a physical therapist with a smaller-government/anti-career politician platform.
  • Richard Lieberman, meanwhile, is the sole Democrat announced.

However, earlier today, Bloomberg News reported that former Louisiana governor, ex-convict, and former reality star Edwin Edwards is going to run. Then, his wife, who is younger than his kids (save for the one she had with him recently), fired back saying “Uh, no.” Right now, he’s looking to set up a Super PAC so he can run. In the event he does run, I really hope Erick can get his parents out of that district in time.

Senate 2014 Rolls On

A recent PPP poll showed Mary Landrieu up by one point in a one-on-one contest against main Republican challenger Bill Cassidy, whose Congressional seat is the one up for grabs in that last section. There are two other Republican candidates, RedState-endorsed Rob Maness, and state representative Paul Hollis. In the PPP poll, Hollis was shown at 5% and Maness was shown at 3%. Maness also has the backing of many key conservative groups around the country (I see you out there, waiting to comment, Kermit).

Jindal for President

All eyes right now are on Bobby Jindal, who is expected to make a run for the presidency in 2016. I, and a lot of other conservatives in the state, can be critical of him at times, but I think if he continues his fight for school choice, he can appeal to a wide array of conservatives across the nation. In terms of conservative appeal, I think he and Scott Walker of Wisconsin would be the best match-up. A Jindal presidency may not happen, but a Jindal cabinet position could, according to Louisiana pundits. He’s got experience, in particular, with the state health office, so a Republican presidency fighting back against Obamacare could have him.

The Crazy Primaries

Louisiana’s primary system is just wacky. Everyone is in it, and the top two, regardless of party, go on into the run-off. The exception to this rule is if one of the candidates in the primary gets more than 50% of the primary vote. All polling indicates that will more than likely not be the case in the Senate race. If it does turn out to be Cassidy, he can’t be complacent. There is plenty of ammo out there, but he has yet to really hit hard with any of it, opting to let Americans For Prosperity do the attacking. He, meanwhile, came under fire in an ad campaign put on by Harry Reid’s PAC.

That crazy primary will also come into play in LA-6. I think the only Democrat with the chance to get into the run-off would be Edwards, who has a lot of name recognition, much more than anyone else in that race. The Republicans have numbers and voting trends in the district on their side, but like the Senate race, complacency is a bad idea.

Open Thread

Discuss whatever else you’d like. Except porn.