The fact is that because the Governor of Louisiana and other statewide officers will be elected this year on the year before the President of the United States is elected these elections will not be linked to the mood and will of the country which elects the next President of the United States in the same way that the sates which elect their governors on the same day will be linked to the election of the President. One very significant link is that Governor Bobby Jindal is currently running for President. His candidacy does not seem to be gathering a lot of momentum. But if he does continue to pursue his candidacy he will do so for an entire year after he has been term limited out of the Governor’s office.
Of course even for us who live in Louisiana the closer governor’s election is receiving no more attention than the more distant Presidential race and there is more advertising for the Governor’s race here so far but it is not all that heavy and the message is not driven by the same level of scrutiny and debate. Several newspapers I examined on Friday ,June 21 2015 had almost no mention of the Governor’s race with an October Primary this year. All of them have covered the race many times but on this day they had little. The Daily Advertiser had a prominent editorial cartoon about David Vitter having a zoo custodian clean up the excrement of an elephant representing the state’s budgetary mess — but there was little else in terms of reporting or opinion. The cartoons by La Rochelle are a somewhat independent process I believe. So where does one go for such information? For those who want to access a good primer for the basic facts of the election cycle I recommend clicking here. Reading this post is also a start.
I love Louisiana for all of its faults and I am eager to see the race given its due. Senior United States Senator for Louisiana David Vitter, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne are the candidates who have made the best showing in the circles I have informally consulted about who is running for Governor of Louisiana. All three of these men are Republicans. Our Open Primary System will weed the field to two if nobody wins an outright majority straight off. There are some other candidates who while they may be less significant contenders in my view may come on as time progresses but most of all together will help to deny anyone the outright majority in the first race. If you click any of the candidates names below you should get some kind of link except Jeremy Odom in whose case the only link I found functioned too badly to be placed here.
The whole slate as far as I know consists of three major contenders in this paragraph and another paragraph with the also rans. The links are not equal or fair but simply links you may find things with Google that I did not find. All the three top contenders are white men: Scott Angelle, Public Service Commissioner, Ex-Lt. Governor & Ex-St. Martin Parish President. Jay Dardenne – Lt. Governor, Ex-Sec. of State, Ex-State Sen., Ex-Baton Rouge City Councilman & Attorney. David Vitter- US Senator, Ex-Congressman & Attorney.
All the remaining contenders are men. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco had the misfortune to have served as Governor of Louisiana when the Monster Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the state. That did in a sense leave people with an impression that the first Louisiana Woman to be Governor had a disastrous tenure in office. However, it may be that she had little to do with the damage caused by these double catastrophies. So here are the other men running Black and White citizens of the Pelican State: Gerald Long– State Sen. & Retired Insurance Agent . . John Bel Edwards– State House Minority Leader, Attorney & Army Veteran. Tony Clayton – Attorney & Southern Univ. Board Chair. Jeremy Odom Baptist Minister, Tax Consultant & Army Veteran.
By reason of being a citizen of Louisiana and for other reasons I want to write this post about the connections, comparisons and contrasts between the United States Presidential Elections and the Louisiana Governor’s race. First and foremost the Presidential elections will matter a great deal to the Governor and other citizens of Louisiana. I am not the only one who is very interested in the outcome of both of these contests. But Louisiana does not vote very early in the primaries and it doesn’t have a great number of electoral votes. The clear sense that America continues to evolve in an uncertain and disorganized way as regards its federal structure is evident in our state elections.
The Governor’s role will be shaped by the Federal regime. Barack Obama will still be President when our Governor of Louisiana is elected and a lot may happen in that last year of his tenure. Some things that could happen worry a lot of people. We now have two Republican Senators for the first time since Reconstruction after the election of Bill Cassidy but one is running for Governor. The connection between the systems is complex enough without referring to Bobby Jindal’s run for the Presidency of the United States.
The next Governor may have to deal with a massive crisis in the United States which will shape all that he does in office. We remember the BP MACONDO Oil Leak as a great ecological disaster, Katrina as a great natural disaster, Rita the country does not remember but it made Katrina far worse even without counting its own damage and the country remembers the recent Grand Theater shooting in Lafayette. But all those stories were not only Louisiana stories but American stories. We need to see the way the two races are related before we can even begin to make the right choices.
Jindal has raised taxes on smoking, gotten a BP settlement, cut a lot of spending and made some structural changes which arguably make him much more credible as a candidate than he was a year ago. Our budget is less of a mess I believe than it was. But impressions were formed as he launched his campaign and he has never gained back all that much enthusiasm from the home crowd. Perhaps half of Louisiana is very positive about Vitter for what he has tried to do in Washington. I do not think all that many people would say his actual achievements there have been stellar.
So we face a convergence of two processes. We will see how the election of our Governor has small but real effects on the Presidential Race later.