Louisiana GOP, business leaders reticent to say much about presidential election outcome

Like the majority of Republican elected officials around the country, members of Louisiana’s predominantly GOP Congressional delegation have thus far been largely muted in their reaction to the outcome of the presidential election.

The normally prolific press offices of U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy have been noticeably silent since Saturday, when Joe Biden surpassed the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the race.

The most outspoken member of the delegation appears to Metairie Congressman Steve Scalise, the powerful minority whip, who suggested in a weekend interview on right-wing network OAN that there is some validity to allegations of voter fraud in swing states that have flipped in favor of Biden.

Scalise, a frequent guest on FOX News, which has called the election in favor of Biden, did not outright dispute the election results, but indicated President Donald Trump is likely to prevail in some of his campaign’s election court fights because “… you have these ballots coming in in some states where there are reports of people who had passed away and were still on the rolls and someone had voted for them. That should never happen. Somehow, it did happen.”

Scalise did not substantiate these allegations.

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy was a little more guarded in comments posted to his Facebook page Sunday, saying, “Courts must investigate all voting irregularities to ensure the integrity of our elections and the health of our democracy.”

Business leaders, meanwhile, are carefully parsing their words in reaction to the election. In response to a request for comment, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President and CEO Stephen Waguespack says Louisiana is “absolutely critical to the nation’s success, no matter who’s in charge, and that is why we have a long tradition as a state of working well with leaders from all political persuasions.”

Waguespack goes on to note that, “President Trump supported many policies that greatly benefitted Louisiana’s economy and we look forward to working with incoming President Biden and the new Congress to keep many of those policies going, as well as working with them all to develop new ideas to make us even better. What’s good for Louisiana is good for America.”

Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association President Tyler Gray shied away from mentioning either Trump or Biden by name in a statement his organization issued in response to the election. Rather, Gray says LMOGA is dedicated to continue working with state and national leaders from both parties to support solutions that promote the safe delivery of affordable, reliable energy for families while addressing our climate challenges. 

“We need a strong, long-term energy policy that spurs investment, promotes homegrown energy and recognizes the importance of a robust oil and natural gas industry for America’s future,” Gray wrote. 

Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp says BRAC does not comment on presidential elections.