POLITICAL CHATTER

— Not dead last! Louisiana is outpacing the national rate of economic growth, Sam Karlin reports for The Advocate (see the photo above, which Karlin shared with his story). Meanwhile, Melinda Deslatte writes for the AP that Louisiana’s job market “slackened” in June, as unemployment rose and employer payrolls fell.

— Greg Hilburn gives us the best zingers from the election qualifying marathon in The News-Star.

— U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee member John Kennedy met with Supreme Court judicial nominee Brett Kavanaugh this afternoon in the junior senator’s office.

— Joe Gyan for The Advocate: Baton Rouge lawyer Niles Haymer is asking the town of Clinton to remove a statue of a Confederate soldier from its perch just outside the East Feliciana Parish courthouse.

— House Majority Whip Steve Scalise in the New York Post: “No, I’m not running for speaker, and I’ve been clear. We all need to be focused on keeping this majority. I mean, if we don’t have the majority, then Nancy Pelosi takes over and we lose complete control over the direction of the country, and we can’t let that happen.”

— Scalise talked more about the GOP’s strategy to Fox Business.

— Sen. Conrad Appel, former Rep. Austin Badon and actor Spud McConnell are just some of the names slated for radio talk show host Jeff Crouere’s “Politics With A Punch” this Thursday at the Eiffel Society in New Orleans. GET TICKETS

— The Lens and attorney Scott Sternberg are hosting a public records workshop with a focus on criminal justice tomorrow evening in New Orleans. REGISTER

The New York Times: "Because state governments control redistricting, new Democratic governors could help cement the House gains, or at least block Republicans from repeating the post-2010 gerrymandering that helped entrench their power in Congress.”

— Attorney Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti): “My client Stormy Daniels and her husband Glen have decided to end their marriage. A petition for divorce was filed last week, the accuracy of which is vehemently disputed. Stormy’s daughter remains her number one priority.  She kindly asks for privacy for the sake of her family.”

— Stormy, about 5 hours later: “I don't need or want privacy. I want truth. And it will come out. I'm not afraid.”

— Congressman Clay Higgins “spills the beans” in KADN News15's new show (which, if you like Jerry Seinfeld, appears to be the Louisiana-focused version of the comedy legend’s Netflix series, “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee”). Higgins: “You know, we watched these TV shows back then, man. ‘The Rifle Men’ and ‘Have Gun will Travel’… What little kid, growing up back then, didn’t want to be the marshal or the sheriff?”

— Nine candidates have qualified across the state for the Nov. 6 elections following training from the Louisiana chapter of Emerge, which recently planted roots in the Bayou State with the goal of putting more Democratic women in office. They are: Tammy Savoie, challenging incumbent House Majority Whip Steve Scalise for the First Congressional District seat; Teri Johnson for House District 33 (former Rep. Mike Danahay spurred a special election after being sworn in as Sulphur mayor in May); Sumer Cooner for Caddo Parish School Board; Laura McLemore for Shreveport City Council; Wanda Porter Johnson for St. Martin Parish School Board; Theresa Rohloff for Scott City Council At-Large; Michelle Charles for Jefferson Parish Juvenile District Court; Chelsey Richard Napoleon for Orleans Parish Civil District Court; and April Williams for Jefferson Parish School Board.

— Massachusetts Democrat U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Cedric Richmond will speak at Dillard University in New Orleans on Aug. 3.

— Warren, New Jersey Democrat U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Emerge and others will be in New Orleans from Aug. 2 through 4 for the Netroots Nation Conference, the “largest annual conference for progressives.”

— The Louisiana Municipal Association 81st annual convention is July 31 through Aug. 2 at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Delegate and hotel reservations are now open. REGISTER

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