‘LaPolitics’: Democratic side of Senate race still unknown

    While the Republican side of the race to replace U.S. Sen. David Vitter is getting stacked, with official announcements this week from state Treasurer John Kennedy and retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, the Democratic side continues to be less defined.

    But Denham Springs attorney Caroline Fayard, who ran for lieutenant governor in 2010, seems positioned to change that. Her campaign team is putting together its fundraising staff already and is actively interviewing and hiring. Fayard, however, has not made an official announcement.

    State Sen. Gary Smith of Norco was making the rounds up in Washington, D.C., last week during the congressional delegation’s annual Mardi Gras celebration, as was Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell of Oak Grove. Other Democrats still testing the waters include state Sen. Eric LaFleur of Ville Platte, state Rep. Robert Johnson of Marksville and Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy.

    —Louisiana already has more doctors serving in Congress per capita than any other state, and that may continue to be true next term if Dr. Trey Baucum has his druthers. He’ll be announcing his candidacy soon for the 4th Congressional District to replace Republican Rep. John Fleming. A cardiologist, Baucum is building his campaign infrastructure quickly and has hired Roy Fletcher as his media consultant. Baucum comes from a well-known north Louisiana family and will run as a conservative Republican.

    State Rep. Mike Johnson of Shreveport is all geared up to run as well and will be a formidable candidate. Also considering the race are Michael D. Reese, a well known advocate for Fort Polk and the CEO of American Moving and Storage; Shreveport Councilman Oliver Jenkins; and state Rep. Patrick Jefferson.

    They said it: “Just turning down the thermostat isn’t going to get us there.” —Rep. Greg Miller, on balancing the budget, in The Associated Press

    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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