BREAKING: Vitter Endorses Tucker In Secretary Of State Race

This just went out via e-mail this morning…

You’ve probably noticed that the campaign season is beginning to pick up intensity as we get closer to the fall elections in Louisiana this year. Well, I wanted to tell you about another strong leader that I’m excited to support and endorse — Jim Tucker for the Louisiana Secretary of State.

Jim Tucker’s election four years ago as our first Republican Speaker of the House in modern times represented the beginning of a new era in Louisiana government. And it wasn’t just symbolic — he’s built a proven record as a budget hawk and an effective, result-oriented leader.

Jim has been a champion of Louisiana taxpayers by pushing fiscal accountability. He’s pushed more than 40 tax cuts through the Louisiana House in his tenure as Speaker. Most notably, he led the fight to repeal the awful Stelly tax.

And Jim has been a bold reform leader as well. He took the lead in passing sweeping legislation to prohibit and prosecute good ol’ boy backroom deals in Louisiana government. This reform moved Louisiana from 46th to 5th in national rankings on the issue. And Jim has fought hard for higher education, job creation and public safety reforms. Learn more by visiting Jim’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Please join Wendy and me in supporting Jim Tucker for Secretary of State.

Thank you again for your friendship and commitment to conservative reform in Louisiana.

It’s not a major surprise, as Vitter and Tucker have worked in concert on several issues and they’re known to be friendly.

It is, however, a significant development in the race. A Vitter endorsement typically carries a great deal of weight and a sizable fundraising advantage for a Louisiana candidate. And with Tucker engaged in a battle against incumbent Tom Schedler for a spot in the runoff against Democrat Caroline Fayard in what looks tantamount to a Republican primary, a Vitter endorsement could well be seen as dispositive.

Schedler so far has run a smart campaign, leveraging the ridiculous Department of Justice Motor Voter lawsuit against Louisiana into the central issue of the race and building a narrative very much to his advantage. But things just got tougher for Schedler with Vitter’s entry into the fray on Tucker’s side.

UPDATED: The Schedler camp responds…

“Even the great jockey Calvin Borel sometimes picks the wrong horse.  I respectfully disagree with Senator Vitter’s decision, but our campaign remains un-phased by it and focused on campaigning on the issues that really matter to people in our state: saving tax payer money, protecting the election system from the Justice Department, and streamlining the office to help small businesses get up and running faster.  This race is about who has the judgment and proven record to lead the Office of State.  After my election, I will be glad to sit down with Senator Vitter and discuss how our offices can work together to benefit the people of Louisiana.”

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