One might interpret recent events as boding well for both candidates in the Nov. 18 runoff which will determine the identity of Louisiana’s next state treasurer, as endorsements are coming in on both sides – a flood for John Schroder, and a trickle for Derrick Edwards.
Schroder, who had picked up endorsements last week from both of Louisiana’s U.S. Senators and Attorney General Jeff Landry, has seen a cascade of endorsements from other Republican figures in recent days.
For example, on Thursday there was U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson…
“I served with my friend John Schroder in the Louisiana Legislature, and I know him to be an intelligent, articulate conservative who will work hard every day to guard our taxpayer dollars and advocate for reforms and better accountability in state spending. I support him in his campaign to be Louisiana’s next state treasurer, and will be doing all I can to help him win on November 18.”
And Thursday evening came Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser…
“John Schroder’s no-nonsene, common sense conservative leadership is exactly what we need in Baton Rouge. John will serve with the same honor he did as a veteran and member of the legislature. I will make sure to do everything I can to get John Schroder elected as our next state treasurer on November 18.”
Then came Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain on Friday…
“I have known John Schroder for over ten years, going back to the time before he served in elected office and was a respected member of the St Tammany Parish Home Builder’s Association. He served in the legislature as my state representative and was a vocal advocate for fiscal reform and accountability. He is a man of unquestionable ethics and integrity and will serve with honor and distinction as our next state treasurer.”
Also on Friday, Schroder picked up the endorsement of interim state treasurer Ron Henson…
“As Treasurer John Kennedy’s First Assistant for 17 years, I worked with Representative John Schroder since his swearing in to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2008. During his tenure, I observed his focus on conservative fiscal principles and dedication to finding taxpayer-oriented solutions to Louisiana’s budgetary problems. John Schroder has the governmental experience and temperament to continue the high level of integrity and public service demonstrated in the many years of Treasury administration under John Kennedy.”
What’s significant about this, though hardly unexpected, is that Schroder is uniting the various Republican clans around the state. Typically when that happens nowadays it means a huge Republican margin of victory.
But that isn’t assured this time, given that the only thing going on Nov. 18 outside of the treasurer’s race is the New Orleans mayor’s race, and as such you could see very high turnout in Orleans Parish and almost nonexistent turnout elsewhere. That could make for an electorate greatly skewed to Edwards and a much more competitive race than anybody thinks.
Perhaps the state’s Democrats are recognizing their opportunity. It looks like Edwards might finally be getting an endorsement from his state party after all…
Today, the Louisiana Democratic Party announced that the Executive Committee voted to recommend the endorsement of Derrick Edwards. The entire Democratic State Central Committee will vote on the matter October 28th at a scheduled in-person meeting where Edwards is invited to address the group. The vote was unanimous.
And the chair of the state Democrat Party decided to punctuate the imminent endorsement by taking a poke at Schroder…
“We congratulate Mr. Edwards on gaining more votes than any other candidate in the primary,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Senator Karen Carter Peterson. “He has a masters in accounting and a law degree and we believe he is the right choice for the position. Democrats from across the state have signed on to help Mr. Edwards – and it will take all of us to unite together to win.
“The second place contender has been running terribly misleading ads in which he promises to cut wasteful politician spending – that is not under the jurisdiction of the treasurer’s office. Either he is intending to lie to the voters or he has no idea what office he is running for. If he really wanted to cut wasteful spending, he would have done it while in the legislature — instead he chose to partner up with Bobby Jindal.”
That’s pretty rich coming from Peterson, whose party refused to endorse Edwards in the primary even though he was the only candidate with a D next to his name. If he’s the right choice now, how come he wasn’t four weeks ago?
Meanwhile, she’s right in that the Treasurer isn’t in a position to cut waste from the state budget. We’ve addressed that here at The Hayride multiple times – the Treasurer can only act as a watchdog for government waste and can’t make fiscal policy.
But Karen Carter Peterson doesn’t get to bitch at anybody about wasteful government spending, seeing as though she is perhaps its foremost defender in the legislature and not only has shown herself thoroughly incapable of voting to defend Louisiana’s taxpayers but has perfected a record of venturing into the House chamber to verbally abuse, with profanity-laced insults, those state representatives who do support eliminating wasteful spending.
Derrick Edwards is a far more pleasant, polite and honorable person than Peterson, and at this point it would be a testament to his character if he would decline her endorsement and that of her party. He can’t afford to, of course, because that endorsement would be expected to come with the party’s resources backing it – and since Edwards’ campaign has to date run on a $6,000 loan from a family member and a smattering of small donations from a short list of contributors, he is in no position to turn those resources down.
Nonetheless, the Democrats would richly deserve such treatment from Edwards after what they’ve visited on him so far.