Open Field in the 5th Congressional District

no-rematch-2

Congressman Vance McAllister, on his first day back from the Easter recess Monday, announced he would serve out the remainder of his term, but not seek re-election in the fall. That leaves an open field in the 5th District that will begin forming up in the coming weeks. 

A poll released two weeks ago showed McAllister facing a tough road ahead, but it also offers the best picture of who might be running to replace him now that he’s out.

According to an automated phone survey from the Glascock Group, the state senator McAllister so handily defeated in the November runoff, fellow Republican Neil Riser of Columbia, would have returned the favor in a rematch, by a 56-44 percent margin.

Asked at the Capitol recently if he would run, Riser said, "Time will tell."

The thumping defeat in the November special election could be traced to his moving too soon after former Congressman Rodney Alexander suddenly announced his resignation, spawning voter resentment over the real or imagined "Neil Deal." A proven fundraiser in short order, he is perhaps best positioned to emerge as the favored Republican, but only if he distances himself from Gov. Bobby Jindal and Co., which weighed him down last time.

Others included in the poll were Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, a Democrat, and Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway, a Republican. Both men ran against McAllister in the special election last year.

Holloway said after his third-place primary finish that his tenth race for Congress would be his last, and he said recently he hasn't changed his mind. Meanwhile, Mayo and state Rep. Marcus Hunter, D-Monroe, who was not included in the poll, had ruled out running again, but that was before McAllister’s big announcement.

Also in the Glascock poll were state Rep. Chris Hazel, R-Pineville, who has not said he will run this fall, and attorney Ed Tarpley, who announced his candidacy this month.

Sure, the kissing video did the heavy lifting, but did more than $1 million in debts help push Congressman Vance McAllister further out of the fall election?

MORE: Cash Problems May Have Helped Force Out McAllister

But many others not in the poll could surface for the race.

State Rep. Robert Johnson, D-Marksville, who lost in the 2013 primary field, issued a press release Monday stating that McAllister needs to take it a step further and not just skip his re-election. “Congressman McAllister should resign because he’s not doing his job,” Johnson said. “He isn’t communicating with other elected officials. He isn’t communicating with his constituents. For all practical purposes, the people of our district are without representation in the United States Congress.”

Johnson made no indication of whether he plans to run again, but has expressed interest. With Holloway out of the way, Johnson could pick up regional support in Rapides and other parishes on the southern end of the sprawling district.

McAllister's predecessor is another one to consider. "I would never say anything is off of the table," state Veterans Affairs Secretary Rodney Alexander told The Monroe News-Star earlier this month. "If I felt like the people of Louisiana and the 5th District wanted me for a particular purpose or office, I am willing to serve them."

State Rep. Jay Morris, R-Monroe, would not comment when contacted by LaPolitics earlier this month. He was the most run over by the McAllister juggernaut, losing his own House district in the special election. He spent about $400,000 of personal money on the bid, so it's a question of whether he's ready to put up again.

Versions of this story were first published in Issue 977 of LaPolitics Weekly on April 17, 2014, and in Issue 976 on April 10, 2014. Wish you would have read it then? Subscribe now!

RECENT STORIES

Fed Races Crammed With Candidates

Federal Races Crammed With Candidates

On the Nov. 8 ballot in Louisiana there will be 63 different candidates running in seven federal races for the U.S House and Senate, meaning voters will have plenty of names to choose from — possibly more than any other time in recent history. In the U.S. Senate race alone 24 candidates qualified last week […]

superpacsmll

Super PAC Bows Out Of Senate Race

A super PAC, or political action committee, that was formed to support the U.S. Senate candidacy of Treasurer John Kennedy has been disbanded and its money has been transferred to a national conservative advocacy group that could end up playing an out-front role in the developing race scheduled for this fall. The U.S. Supreme Court […]

Media Campaigns Target Lawmakers

Media Campaigns Target Lawmakers

The governor isn’t the only one trying to influence the votes of lawmakers in the ongoing second special session that ends on June 23. The Louisiana Manufacturers Political Action Committee has purchased more than 3,000 radio spots over the next two weeks that urge voters to contact lawmakers and Gov. John Bel Edwards to ask […]

12507136_1507118309583421_5716483447573911721_n

JBE To Lawmakers: Come On Over

Lawmakers might still be a little sore at Gov. John Bel Edwards for calling a second special session just 30 minutes after the ongoing regular session ends Monday evening. The governor, however, may gain a few more points back for what he has planned when the first night of that second special session comes to a […]

Days In Session An All-Time High

LINGERING LAWMAKERS: Days In Session An All-Time Record

Sen. John Milkovich, D-Shreveport, shows the strain of listening to endless testimony and debate during the ongoing regular session, which, in concert with this year’s two special session, will be the longest running in the state’s history. Credit: Justin DiCharia. When the 2016 Louisiana Legislature, beginning its second special session Monday, withdraws on June 23 from […]

Barras Plan: Money For Hospitals, TOPS

Barras Plan Sends $45M To Hospitals

Contacted for an interview Saturday evening, House Speaker Taylor Barras said he plans on kicking off Sunday’s budget negotiations with a proposal to direct $45 million to the state’s safety-net hospitals and somewhere between $15 million and $20 million to the TOPS scholarship program. The big political takeaway for conservatives in the House is that the plan could […]

Possible (Maybe) Deal Coming Together 

This was originally sent to paying subscribers of LaPolitics Weekly on Friday, March 4, at 7:20 p.m. Wish you would have seen it then? Subscribe now! Yet again, it’s all about the penny The House leadership, including House Speaker Taylor Barras, is continuing to develop a plan at this hour that could potentially address the […]