Federal Races Crammed With Candidates

pols

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 hoping to succeed senior Sen. David Vitter. That’s more than any other U.S. Senate race hosted by Louisiana since at least 1980.

There were 16 candidates running in 2010 to oppose Vitter’s re-election, which was the first balloting to follow the revelation about the so-called D.C. Madam controversy. Before that, in 1996, 15 candidates qualified in the race to replace retiring Sen. J. Bennett Johnston, a contest that former Sen. Mary Landrieu won.

Twenty-four candidates are difficult to manage from almost every perspective, even by the standards of Louisiana politics, said Martin Johnson, an LSU political science professor and the Kevin P. Reilly chair at the Manship School of Mass Communication.

“What a problem for pollsters,” Johnson said with a laugh. “I’m sure you want as many people as possible in those assessments, but what a challenge.

It could be worse, he added; in 2003 in California the recall ballot for then-Gov. Gray Davis resulted in 135 candidates qualifying, including movie icon Arnold Schwarzenegger, an adult film star, a pornography publisher, unemployed actor Gary Coleman, a state senator and a cast of others.

Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race won’t be as crowded, but the 24 qualifications do send an early message that no single, competitive candidate has their respective base solidified yet, Johnson said.

“A big part of this is that there’s not a clear answer to the who big powerhouse will be in the future and there’s a lot of political ambition out there,” he said.

The list of notables is large and includes Congressman Charles Boustany, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, former Congressman Joseph Cao, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, attorney Caroline Fayard, Congressman John Fleming, former state legislator Troy Hebert, Treasurer John Kennedy, retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, New Orleans businessman Abhay Patel and Acadiana oil executive Joshua Pellerin — to name just 11 from the 24-person field.

On a smaller ballot, the leading candidates would be pushing for a large share of the electorate to make it to the runoff, but with the primary votes being split up among so many different names the margins will be much tighter.

“The folks who end up in the runoff will presumably have percentages in the low 20s,” said Johnson.

The two open seats in the U.S. House delegation has drawn a large number of contenders as well — 12 in the Acadiana-based 3rd Congressional District, to replace Boustany, and eight in northwest Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District, to replace Fleming.

No member of Louisiana’s House delegation will be running unopposed this fall. All of the four incumbents seeking re-election have fielded challengers.

SPONSORED: An Update on Louisiana’s Fight Against Human Trafficking

United Way of Acadiana’s Women United group held a powerful session on Aug. 13 for their Food for Thought Series: An Update on Louisiana’s

WEEKLY: An Unusual Race In HD90

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

THE POLITICAL ABC’s (Alario, Barras & Comedy): Seven answers & one joke each, directly from the gavel masters

It has been nearly three months since the finale of 2018’s edition of session-palooza. That’s plenty of time for House Speaker Taylor Barras

ALFORD’S OPINION COLUMN: An Official Con-Con Reminder

It has been three months since the Louisiana Legislature concluded its regular session without addressing the war cry for a constitutional

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY: The Bossier Rep Who Stuck With Nixon Until The Bitter End

On the morning of Aug. 9, 1974, Richard Nixon climbed onto the presidential helicopter, waved goodbye and flew away from the White House

POLITICAL CHATTER

— The Republican Women of Bossier, Women’s Republican Club of Shreveport, Caddo Parish Republican Party and Bossier Parish Republican

#HBD TRACKERS!

#HBD TRACKERS! — Tuesday 08/14: Rep. Dustin Miller, Winston DeCuir Jr. and Phillip Joffrion — Wednesday 08/15: Patrick Gleason, Karen

WEEKLY: House Candidates Reap Nearly $10M

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on August 2, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite

WEEKLY: A Flurry of Secretary of State Campaign Hires

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on August 2, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite

SPONSORED: Opening Doors Through Technology

Opening Doors Through Technology TPG client Microsoft continues to provide advances in technology and open new opportunities for

TRACKER: Jim Out, Podcast In & Other News Of The Day

FOUR THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW Jim Out, Podcast In & Other Jazz 1.) BERNHARD: "I WILL NOT RUN" Will businessman Jim Bernhard run for

ALFORD’S OPINION COLUMN: Has It Started Yet?

You ain’t nobody in Louisiana politics until somebody works for you.  And there are plenty of people being hired by the five major

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY: The Consultant Who Could “Garontee” A Win

Justin Wilson will always be remembered for his spicy Cajun cooking, trademark red suspenders and the collection of funny anecdotes he told

POLITICAL CHATTER

— Julia O’Donoghue (@JSODonoghue): "@LouisianaGov says the state is applying for federal grants to approve school safety in wake of Florida

#HBD TRACKERS!

#HBD TRACKERS! — Tuesday 08/07: Former Gov. Edwin Edwards, Ryan Templet, Susan C. Freeman and Jacques Berry — Wednesday 08/08: Marylee

WEEKLY: Why JBE Won’t Thump Trump

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on July 26, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community

WEEKLY: ACLU Monitoring Officials On Social Media

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on July 26, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community

SPONSORED: Oceans Healthcare CEO Stuart Archer Wins Prestigious Award

Congratulations to Oceans Healthcare Chairman and CEO Stuart Archer for being recognized as EY’s 2018 Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2018 in the

FISH ON! Tips For The CCA Legislators’ Invitational Fishing Rodeo, Plus More

FISH ON! Alexander Graham Bell, an island of Looziana legislators, loading the Labor Day starter pistol & other random info for

ALFORD: The Millionaire Mythos & The Race For Governor

Is he in?  Is he out?  Does it matter right now?  Even if it doesn't, the possibility of millionaire investor and political flirt Jim

POLITICAL HISTORY: The Conspiracist Vs. The Crooner

By 1973, Orleans Parish District Attorney Jim Garrison was a well-known figure outside of his jurisdiction, due largely to the legal and

POLITICAL CHATTER

— The Advocate: “Animal welfare advocates aren't happy about the Tiger Truck Stop's recent acquisition of a camel and baby coati, but state

#HBD TRACKERS!

— Tuesday 07/31: Acting Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, Don Cravins Jr., Rodney Mallett, Julio Melara, Jimmy Lagarde and Barrett Murphy —

WEEKLY: Special Election Trend To Continue

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on July 19, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community

REVIEW: Livingston Memoir A Candid Account

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on July 19, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community