In a room packed with everybody but his opponent, Louisiana attorney general candidate Jeff Landry announced today that Geri Broussard Baloney, a former Democratic candidate for the office who missed the Nov. 21 runoff, has thrown her support behind Landry.
Baloney, who stood side by side with Landry in making the announcement at a Press Club of Baton Rouge forum, said she chose to endorse the Republican challenger to incumbent Buddy Caldwell because of “his willingness to embrace forward-thinking policies and his desire to actually transform and change the way the attorney general’s office does business.”
“Jeff is committed to reforming our broken criminal justice system,” Baloney said, reading from a prepared statement. “He understands the need for fiscal responsibility and inclusion in the attorney general’s office.”
Landry, a former Congressman from southwest Louisiana, said the endorsement from a Democrat is proof that he can work with officials from all points of the political spectrum.
“I think that what we saw today was the fact that I can work with Democrats, Republicans, independents, it doesn’t matter,” Landry said. “I will work with whoever the next governor is.”
Both Landry and Caldwell were invited to debate at today’s Press Club forum, but Caldwell declined to make an appearance, citing a scheduling conflict.
Landry, meanwhile, used the open podium to announce the endorsement and continue his offensive against Caldwell, whom he chided as a corrupt and incompetent manager of the attorney general’s office.
While the governor’s race has garnered the most headlines in this year’s election cycle, the duel between Caldwell and Landry has been a tight battle that is sure to be bitter until the end. Caldwell, despite being a two-term incumbent, earned only 35% of the vote in the Oct. 24 primary election, compared to Landry’s 33%. They will appear on the Nov. 21 runoff ballot.
At the Press Club forum, Landry continued his criticism of what he’s been calling “the Buddy system,” a series of cronyism allegations against the incumbent. Caldwell’s campaign, meanwhile, has honed in on Landry’s lack of experiencing trying civil or criminal cases in court.