LaHistory: Foster and Buddy’s Comeback Bid

Foster and Buddy’s Comeback Bid

In 1995, Louisiana’s political landscape was shifting. Frustrated with problems in the gambling industry, bad press, and numerous investigations, Edwin Edwards was retiring after four terms in the Governor’s Mansion.

The large field to succeed him included such notables as Mary LandrieuMelinda SchwegmannBuddy RoemerDave Treen, Cleo FieldsBill Jefferson and Harry Lee.

Overshadowed by these big names was a little-known state senator from Franklin named Mike Foster.

Roemer, as the sole Republican, had a comfortable lead in all of the early polls. Embarrassed by his poor showing in 1991, the former governor was determined to win back the office he had vacated just four years earlier. He focused on running a more disciplined campaign and dedicated a greater effort to honing his message.

Hoping to recapture some of the grassroots magic of his earlier races, Roemer even began standing out in front of Wal-Marts around the state, hoping to get a few personal moments with voters as they shopped.

As the summer turned to fall, politicos, pollsters and pundits pegged Roemer as the secure frontrunner while the other candidates battled for the second runoff spot.

During qualifying, however, the race changed drastically.

Before filing, Foster decided to change parties and registered as a Republican. The abrupt switch garnered the nascent Foster campaign media coverage and their poll numbers surged.

With a conservative challenger to contend with, Roemer’s camp began hemorrhaging support amid a run of bad luck. For instance, when Foster touted his anti-gambling platform, Roemer bungled his response to questions about gambling legislation passed on his watch.

Roemer was also dealt a serious blow when Treen and Lee dropped out and publicly endorsed Foster. Even Democrats began ignoring Roemer during forums and debates.

With Foster gaining momentum, Roemer went negative in desperation. He ran TV spots statewide, focusing on a meeting Lee had set up with some major Democratic donors with connections to Edwards. The clumsy attempt to tie Foster to EWE went nowhere.

On Election Day, Foster headed to the runoff, while Roemer finished fourth with 19 percent.

By Mitch Rabalais

Issue 1,193

Issue 1,193 - February 14, 2019 By Jeremy Alford & Mitch Rabalais Dollars & Question Marks Abraham’s ante, Gumbo coming

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

ROLL CALL St. Tammany emerges at center of gubernatorial campaign… John Gallagher talks 2019 municipal races… A look back at the

Issue 1192

Issue 1192 - February 7, 2019 By Jeremy Alford & Mitch Rabalais Keeping Their Powder Dry GOP wants to see movement in

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

February 5, 2019 — Issue No. 174 By Jeremy Alford (JJA@LaPolitics.com) & Mitch

Son of a Preacher Man: Bob Mann Speaks

https://soundcloud.com/lapolitics/son-of-a-preacher-man-bob-mann-speaks For our latest episode of The LaPolitics

Issue 1191 – Washington Mardi Gras

By Jeremy Alford and Mitch Rabalais WMG 2019! A Candidate Invasion, Party-vators & 3,000 Politicos You may have fun back

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored by Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker,Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates January 29, 2019 - Issue No. 173 By Jeremy Alford

CAPITOL GAINS: The Race for Commissioner

https://vimeo.com/312861344 If there's a sleeper race on the 2019 statewide ballot this fall, it could potentially be the election for

Bourbon, Basketball and Budgets: F. King Alexander Speaks

https://soundcloud.com/lapolitics/bourbon-basketball-and-budgets-f-king-alexander-speaks For the 60th episode of The LaPolitics Report

CAPITOL GAINS: Cajun Swing-Voters, a Northern Split & the Race for Governor

We're mapping Louisiana's race for governor (literally) in this episode of Capitol Gains. With contenders gobbling turf in the north and

WHERE DAT? (Part One of Two)

How Trent Lott, NASA & the Need for Profits Collided to Move the Saints to Mississippi By the time that the National Football League

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

* * * * *   S P E C I A L   H O L I D A Y   I S S U E   * * * * * The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille &

SPONSORED: Fostering A Healthier Community One Step At A Time

TPG recently attended the Acadiana Culture of Health Summit, an event that brought together healthcare professionals, local leaders, and

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates December 11, 2018 / Issue No. 168 By MITCH RABALAIS

SPONSORED: Cheniere Energy Makes A Generous Donation In New Apprenticeship Program

The new program will launch in January 2019, and eligible students will take what they have learned in SOWELA’s classrooms and apply it to

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

  ALERT: TO ALL VOTING ADULTS & PEOPLE WITH HEART CONDITIONS OR YOUNG CHILDREN…. THE SILLY SEASON IS UPON US… THERE IS NOWHERE

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates November 27, 2018 — Issue No. 166 By: Mitch Rabalais

SPONSORED: Lafayette Airport Terminal Groundbreaking Ceremony

It’s an exciting time for the Lafayette Regional Airport and the Acadiana region. After many years of planning and raising funds, the new

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates November 13, 2018 Issue No. 165 By Mitch Rabalais

SPONSORED: Picard Participates In Collaborative Panel Discussion

As Chair-Elect of the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) and member of the Committee of 100, Tyron Picard recently participated in a

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates By MITCH RABALAIS (mitch@lapolitics.com) & JEREMY ALFORD

SPONSORED: TPG Attends Microsoft Consultant’s Retreat

TPG’s Mike Michot and Evan Boudreaux recently attended the 2018 Microsoft State Governmental Affairs Consultant’s Retreat, providing an

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates October 30, 2018 Issue No. 163 Special “BRUH!” Edition By: Mitch

SPONSORED: The Picard Group

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates October 23, 2018 — Issue No. 162 By Mitch Rabalais