WEEKLY: An Unusual Race In HD90

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With the elevation of former Rep. Greg Cromer to the top spot in Slidell’s city hall, a special election has been called in House District 90. Less than a month after qualifying, however, drama has already gripped the contest and an unconventional candidate is making waves.

There are four contenders vying to succeed Cromer. Three Republicans, Mary DuBuission, his former legislative assistant; Brian Glorioso, a local attorney; and John Raymond, a pastor and one-time “Survivor” contestant. One Democrat, Sean Morrison, has entered the race as well.

Cromer, for his part, says that he plans to stay out of the contest. “I’ll just sit back and let them go get votes and raise money,” he told LaPolitics in May.

The biggest storyline in this race so far has concerned Raymond. Just days after he announced his candidacy, a lawsuit was filed challenging his residency. While Raymond acknowledges moving into the district a little over a year ago, he says that he was well within the timeline prescribed by state law (one year prior to qualifying). A district court judge agreed and dismissed the suit, and the First Circuit refused to hear an appeal on the matter earlier this week.

Raymond’s campaign has largely brushed the matter off and already begun putting up signs and actively campaigning in the district. However, the candidate is not out of the woods yet. He will have also to combat charges of financial impropriety levied at him several years ago during a messy departure from a local church. Local politicos say that the issue is likely to become a hot topic before voters head to the polls on Nov. 6.

DuBuission, for her part, has been hitting the ground hard in this contest, walking neighborhoods and campaigning at local community events. Because she could not be employed by the Legislature and also be a candidate for the seat, she resigned as the district’s legislative assistant shortly before qualifying. Now a full-time candidate, DuBuission has the added advantages of an insider’s perspective of the Capitol and extensive knowledge of the district.

Glorioso has not put up many — if any — signs and his campaign remains less active. He did get a boost with the endorsement of the Alliance for Good Government earlier this week.

Morrison, the race’s only Democrat, has been raising political eyebrows, especially in St. Tammany, a parish that has been ruby-red since the 1960s. “I know, it’s crazy,” he said with a laugh when contacted by LaPolitics.

Morrison has gotten a little bit of attention by publicly releasing his full questionnaires from the Alliance for Good Government and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. He said that he released both for the sake of transparency because he believes that the organizations hold too much sway at the Capitol.

He was perviously executive director of the Democratic Party of American Samoa and was even a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention for former President Barack Obama. He currently serves as chair of the St. Tammany Democratic Party.

“If I win, there is no question that I will have a big Republican target on my back,” he said.

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on August 9, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community by subscribing today!

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