Alford: Louisiana’s congressional cycle is showing signs of life  

    This fall’s congressional elections may not present Louisiana with many opportunities for change, but the buildup has been entertaining nonetheless, writes Jeremy Alford in his latest column.

    “From celebrity appearances to national media attention, the developing election cycle has certainly been anything but boring,” Alford writes. “Candidates will begin signing up for these races, as well as others on the local level, in roughly two weeks, on Wednesday, July 18.”

    Alford notes we already know there’s a certified political rockstar running for re-election out of Jefferson Parish: Congressman Steve Scalise of the 1st Congressional District. He has drawn at least four challengers: Democrats Tammy Savoie, Jim Francis and Lee Ann Dugas as well as Libertarian Howard Kearney.

    Scalise has won re-election five times with an average of 73% of the vote, and his $1.5 million war chest suggests another victory is around the corner, Alford says.

    Politicos from over in southwest Louisiana have been enjoying an unusually robust fundraising year that has so far included drop-ins by well-known celebrities, Alford says.

    Fellow Republican Josh Guillory is an announced candidate who recently had a fundraiser headlined by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. “That news was slightly overshadowed recently by President Donald Trump’s endorsement for Higgins,” writes Alford. “Who conducted his own fundraiser this summer with reality TV star Duane “Dog” Chapman of Dog the Bounty Hunter fame.”

    Democratic challengers include former U.S. Magistrate Judge Mimi Methvin, Dr. Phillip Conner, Verone Thomas and Larry Rader. Two independents, Robert Anderson and Dave Langlinais, have also declared their candidacies.

    According to campaign finance reports, Higgins has nearly $210,000 in the bank while most other candidates each have under $15,000. Guillory, though, has nearly $90,000 in the bank, Alford says.

    “If the celebrity appearances, mounting war chests and evolving storylines aren’t enough to suck you into the action of the congressional cycle, then just stick around a bit,” Alford writes.  

    Read the full column.

    Jeremy Alford publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter, or on Facebook. He can be reached at JJA@LaPolitics.com.  

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