Down here in the bayou, the dizzying bottomless roller coaster that is the 2016 election season surges onward. Louisiana’s runoff election will take place on December 10, 2016. Up for grabs: 1 U.S. Senate seat, 2 U.S. Representatives, and 3 district judges. In Part 1 of this series, we’ll take a look at the Senatorial hopefuls.
Ugh, Does This Runoff Even Matter?
Bad reader! Local elections ALWAYS matter! That being said, yes, particularly for concerned Democrats. In case you missed it, the Republicans had a good night all-around on November 8. However, Louisiana votes weirdly. As a result, the extent of the Republican’s control over Senate won’t be final until Louisiana has its say on December 10. An upset by Democratic hopeful Foster Campbell would move the balance of Senate back to 51-49, hence your left-leaning friends all over the country biting their nails in anticipation. Why? The mere one-person shift could mean two more years of Senatorial gridlock – a potential good thing for Democrats, a potential bad thing for Republicans, and a really annoying thing for the taxpayers who foot Congress’ salaries.
The victor will replace Republican David Vitter, who is not seeking re-election. In case you forgot, Vitter has had quite the eyebrow-raising go at it. To wit: last year, the Republican senator was defeated by Democrat John Bel Edwards in Louisiana’s gubernatorial election – one of “the biggest political upsets” in the traditionally red state’s history.
Who Wants In?
- Party: Democrat
- Birthplace: Shreveport, LA
- Education: B.A. in business & economics, Northwestern State University; attended Louisiana State University
- Public Service Experience: Louisiana State Senate – District 36 (1976-2002 – you can dig through voting records here), Louisiana Public Service Commission – District 5 (2003 – present)
- Issues in Focus: Equal pay. Medicaid expansion. Access to education. Coastal protection and restoration. Increase support and benefits for veterans. Simplify and clarify the tax code. Expand disability rights. Read more.
- Major Endorsements: Louisiana’s blue leaders, including Governor John Bel Edwards and Democratic rival Caroline Fayard (Campbell and Fayard clashed during the primary campaign). Organizational endorsements include the Sierra Club (and 22 other environmentalists), Black Organization for Leadership Development, Louisiana AFL-CIO, Louisiana Federation of Teachers, Independent Women’s Organization, Democrats for Life of America, and the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee.
- Sum It Up in a Quote: “I will take on the powerful special interests and make a difference for the people who just want jobs, opportunity, affordable healthcare and good schools.”
- Twitter: @CampbellForLA
- Website: http://www.fostercampbell2016.com/
- Party: Republican
- Birthplace: Centreville, MS
- Wait, One of Those Kennedys?: Illuminati not confirmed…yet.
- Education: Political science, philosophy & economics, magna cum laude, Vanderbilt University; J.D., University of Virginia; B.C.L., Oxford University
- Public Service Experience: Special Counsel to Governor Buddy Roemer; Secretary of Governor Buddy Roemer’s Cabinet; Secretary of the Department of Revenue; Treasurer of Louisiana (2000 – present); adjunct professor at LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center
- Issues in Focus: Balance the budget. Localize policymaking for public schools. Reduce government corruption and increase transparency. Pro-life. Privatize insurance. Expand offshore drilling, but investigate alternate energy sources. Read more.
- Major Endorsements: Lots of elected officials, including Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.), Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D. (R-La.), Congressman Charles Boustany (R-La.), Congressman John Fleming (R-La.), Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, and Louisiana Lieutenant Gov. Billy Nungesser. Organizational endorsements include National Right to Life, American Conservative Union, the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, and the Republican Parish Executive Committee of Caddo Parish.
- Sum It Up in a Quote: “I try not to be rude, but I speak my mind. Some politicians call me a troublemaker, a misfit, a rebel, a square peg in a round hole, because I’m not part of the club. I think I make the right people mad. My job is to protect taxpayers, not seek the approval of my political peers.”
- Twitter: @JohnKennedyLA
- Website: http://www.johnkennedy.com/
Will There Be a Duel?
Polls will be open from 7 AM – 8 PM on Saturday, Dec. 10. Early voting will be available from Saturday, Nov. 26, to Saturday, Dec. 3. Head here to find your polling location.
In Part 2, we’ll look at the candidates for the House of Representatives.