In a move that has blindsided the West Wing and is sending Washington D.C. Republicans into a tizzy, Rudy Giuliani is throwing his support behind Louisiana House candidate Josh Guillory, who is trying to take out incumbent GOP Rep. Clay Higgins.
As Politico reports, the former New York mayor’s new girlfriend, GOP fundraiser Jennifer LeBlanc, is working for Guillory. LeBlanc had been on Higgins’ payroll until late last year when she abruptly parted ways with the congressman.
“We have a National Enquirer-type situation going on down in Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District,” says state Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Higgins backer who hails from the area. Giuliani’s involvement, Landry adds, is “ridiculous.”
Giuliani’s foray into the race infuriated senior party officials, who are convinced Giuliani is acting at his girlfriend’s behest. At a time when the president is aggressively working to sway GOP primaries in conservative areas where he’s popular, Republican leaders worry that Giuliani will give Guillory the imprimatur of Trump’s blessing, even though the president hasn’t endorsed in the race.
Baffled Louisiana Republican Party officials, meanwhile, have phoned the White House and Republican National Committee to figure out Giuliani’s motivations and check whether he’s speaking for the president.
“From the party’s standpoint, Clay’s done a good job as our congressman. He’s been a supporter of the party and our delegation,” says Andrew Bautsch, Louisiana GOP executive director. “We can’t control what Giuliani does and who he supports, but from the party’s standpoint, [Higgins has] been a good congressman.”