Louisiana Candidate Filing (Thursday Noon Status)

We are now half way through candidate qualifying, and for the major races, nearly all of the incumbents/major players have qualified. After an initial rush of qualifiers yesterday morning, qualifying yesterday afternoon and this morning has proceeded as a slower pace, with the biggest entry being Democratic attorney Ravi Sangisetty, who is competing for the Congressional seat Charlie Melancon vacated to run for the Senate. Below is the current status:

August 28 party primary/October 2 party runoff if necessary/November 2 general election:

U.S Senate Race – There are seven candidates in this race: Incumbent Republican David Vitter, Democrats Charlie Melancon and Cary Deaton, Libertarian Anthony “Tony G” Gentile (who ran for Governor in 2007 and for Steve Scalise’s Congressional seat in 2008), and three Independents: Michael Brown of Shreveport, Mike Spears of Lafayette, and Bob Lang if Natchitoches. Given Louisiana’s current (but recently repealed) congressional primary law, Melancon must win the Democratic primary on 8/28, while David Vitter and the three independents get a “free ride” electorally until the November election;

All 7 Congressional seats – All Republican Congressional incumbents have filed for re-election. There will be contested Democratic primaries both in New Orleans between state representatives Cedric Richmond and Juan LaFonta and in Shreveport/Northwest Louisiana between Steve Gavi and David Melville. There are currently two contested Republican primaries: one for Charlie Melancon’s vacated House seat between Hunt Downer and Jeff Landry, while up in northeast Louisiana, 6 year incumbent Rodney Alexander has picked up a primary opponent:  Todd Slavant from Monroe, who has allied himself with the Tea Party movement. Furthermore, the November ballot will have three Independents: Anthony Marquize (who is running against “Joseph” Cao in New Orleans), Artis Cash (who is running against John Fleming in northwest Louisiana), and Tom Gibbs (who is running against Rodney Alexander in northeast Louisiana);

October 2 primary/November 2 runoff if necessary:

Lieutenant Governor – So far, the Lt. Governor’s race remains an all Republican race between Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, GOP Chairman Roger Villere, St Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis (who rankled some by crossing party lines to endorse Mary Landrieu in her 2008 re-election campaign), and Baton Rouge Republican Melanie McKnight (she filed this morning);

Supreme Court, District 7 – This is the seat of Bernette Johnson in New Orleans that includes most of Orleans Parish and the Westbank of Jefferson Parish. So far, only Johnson has filed;

Public Service Commission Districts 3 and 4 – District 3 is a New Orleans to inner city Baton Rouge district held by first termer Lambert Boissiere, while District 4 is a Central and Southwest Louisiana based district that elected Clyde Holloway last year in a special election and, for the first time, gave Republicans a numerical majority on that board. Commissioner Holloway is now seeking a full term to that office. Thus far, only Boissiere and Holloway have filed for their seats;

State Representative District 5 – Term limited incumbent Wayne Waddell (R-Shreveport) will resign effective August 1 to take a museum director’s job. His seat in the southern suburbs of Shreveport should remain in Republican hands, as it has for decades. No one has filed for this seat so far, although conservative Alan Seabaugh has mentioned his interest in the race in various Internet postings;

State Senate District 2- Ann Duplessis (D-New Orleans) vacated her seat to take a job in the Mitch Landrieu administration in New Orleans. Her district in New Orleans East will remain in Democratic hands, although there is a question as to whether this district will be eliminated after next years’ redistricting. Thus far, Democrats Mike Darnell, Edward Washington, and Cynthia Willard-Lewis have filed for this office.

We will keep an eye on who has qualified throughout the qualifying period, although for those who wish to research this on their own, the Secretary of State keeps this information continuously updated on their site: http://www.sos.louisiana.gov/tabid/165/Default.aspx

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