Alford: Rural campaigning goes digital

    If anyone was unsure just how rural the 5th Congressional District can be in some areas, they needed only to listen to last week’s candidate forum hosted by Dare 2 Lead, writes Jeremy Alford in his new opinion piece

    Start native Luke Letlow, the chief of staff for outgoing Congressman Ralph Abraham, attempted to out-country the rather large field in his opening statement. “I’m the only candidate who drives down a dirt road to get home every night,” said Letlow, who added he wanted everyone’s vote, “whether you’re from Bastrop or Bunkie or from Bogalusa.”

    Ouachita Parish Police Juror Scotty Robinson didn’t mess around none either when dispensing his country creds. “I’m a husband, a father, I got three kids, four dogs … three dogs … It changes daily around our house,” said Robinson, who also gave out his personal cellphone number to those listening and participating. 

    The virtual forum was a reminder of where we are along the political landscape of COVID-19. There were a few innocent hot mic moments and a handful of audio hiccups by Letlow and others. No one seemed particularly comfortable with the online format of digital Brady Bunch boxes, but the candidates were good sports. 

    The emergence and reliance on digital forums, however, has helped lesser-known candidates get in front of voters in this race and other elections around the state, and has pushed campaigns to modernize. Read Alford’s full column about the transformation. 

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