Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Tuesday | March 18, 2003

Dems are looking good in LA

I know no one wants to discuss elections these days, but tough. There some great coverage at the Political State Report on the November gubernatorial race in Louisiana.

In short, thanks to Louisiana's unique electoral system, two Democrats may end up fighting for the job in the runoff election.

The way things work, all candidates, from all parties, compete in an open primary in October. The two top vote getters, irrespective of party, duke it out in the November runoff. The GOP used that electoral quirk to force Sen. Landrieu into a runoff election -- a tactic that backfired disastrously on the state and national GOP (blunting the momentum gained from their November victories).

In the Dems favor, there are five Democrats running, and seven Republicans -- which theoretically suggests the GOP vote will be splintered amongst more candidates (assuming they all stay in the race to the bitter end).

But perhaps more importantly, the Democrats are far ahead in the fundraising battle. (It's not every day we get to say that!). The numbers are shaking up thusly (as of Feb 19):

  • AG Richard Ieyoub (D): $2 million
  • Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D): $1 million
  • Former Sen. President Randy Ewing (D): $1 million
  • Public Service Comm. Jay Blossman (R): $639,000
  • State Rep. Hunt Downer (R): $582,000
  • State Treas. John Kennedy (D): $815,000
  • Former Rep. Buddy Leach (D): $120,000 (and is independently wealthy)
  • Senate President John Hainkel (R): $295,000
As for that goofy electoral system, it looks like Republicans want a way out.
State Representative Charlie Lancaster, R-Metairie, plans to introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session that would replace the current election system with closed primaries. Lancaster's bill would apply only to U.S. House and Senate races for the time being. Speaking to the Republican State Central Committee last weekend, Lancaster said that Democrats don't want closed primaries.

"In a closed-party system, conservative Democrats will not win their party's nomination, and the conservative members of that party will come over to us. That's how it's working across the South," Lancaster claimed.

Democrats want changes of their own, but far less ambitious ones. They want to end the December runoffs on national elections (like the Terell/Landrieu battle last year).

Posted March 18, 2003 08:58 PM | Comments (15)


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