LABI PACs Polling Members On Governor’s Race

With Rep. John Bel Edwards taking the lead in Saturday’s primary vote, members of the PACs operated by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry are pushing to get involved in the runoff. The news was first reported to subscribers of LaPolitics Weekly in the Oct. 22 issue, but there's now official movement on the push as of Monday afternoon.

"We're polling our PAC members now that the primary is over to see if they want to revisit this," said LABI President Stephen Waguespack, "and considering the stakes of this election it's appropriate for us to circle back around to them."

Waguespack said it would be unusual and that the business organization’s PACs have not yet taken a firm stance. A super-majority vote of all four of the PACs would be needed.

“All of our natural enemies are behind Edwards, with money from unions and trial lawyers,” said an influential PAC member with a long history with LABI, adding, "It would be a sad day for the business community in Louisiana if John Bel wins. He's a nice guy, looks good on paper, likable, West Point. There’s a lot to like, but on policy he doesn't match up.”

Depending on if it actually happens, and at what level, it would be one for the books. LABI has only played in three gubernatorial elections in recent memory: Dave Treen; Mike Foster, who actually turned it down after seeking the group’s support; and Bobby Jindal, back when he had re-election in the bag.

If the PACs do jump in, members wonder if the attorney general’s race is next, although most consider it more unlikely than entering the contest for governor. “Does that open up the possibility for opposing (Buddy) Caldwell’s re-election?” the source asked. “Do we get in there too for Jeff (Landry)?”

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