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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Blue Dogs on the Bayou

This Saturday the Sixth Congressional District in Louisiana will hold a special election to fill the seat vacated by long-time Republican Congressman Richard Baker, who resigned to become head of the main lobbying group for the hedge fund industry. Needless to say, Baker’s salary should experience a nice bump up.

In recent years, especially since redistricting in 2000, the Sixth District has been considered a safe seat for Republicans.  It comprises most of Baton Rouge, which is fairly diverse racially and politically, and surrounding suburban and rural parishes, which are mostly white and very conservative.  But this year, “Blue Dog” Democrat and current State Representative, Don Cazayoux, is making a strong run for the seat.  The national Democratic Party is apparently pouring money into his race. Cazayoux’s main opponent is Woody Jenkins, a wealthy, ultra-conservative newspaper publisher who, when running for the Senate in 1996, gained infamy for buying former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke’s telephone list and then trying to hide the purchase. The national Republican Party is apparently less enthusiastic about Jenkins, though he does have the endorsement of Louisiana’s conservative boy wonder Governor and possible John McCain running mate, Bobby Jindal, as well as a lot of grass roots support particularly in the outlying parishes.  Voter turnout is expected to be the key to the race.

Should Cazayoux win, it will be a nice victory for the Dems and perhaps a harbinger of upcoming Congressional elections elsewhere in the South.  It might also foreshadow the next Louisiana Senate race, in which the always vulnerable Blue Dog Democrat Mary Landrieu will attempt to hang on in the face of a national Republican effort to unseat her.

Posted by Stuart Green on April 29, 2008 at 05:16 PM in Law and Politics | Permalink


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Strange to think about Jenkins' 1996 scandal and the fact that the opposition call themselves "blue dog democrats." As descendants of the "boll weevil" party of Strom Thurmond and George Wallace, it seems that the Klan and the "blue dogs" would not be found on opposite sides of the ticket.

Posted by: darrow | Dec 19, 2008 12:33:31 AM

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