We heard a rumor along these lines this morning, and now Roll Call has the story…
Rep. Rodney Alexander isn’t wasting any time leaving Congress. The Louisiana Republican is expected to be appointed to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s cabinet at an event this afternoon.
According to GOP sources, Jindal will announce Alexander as the new head of the Louisiana Department of Veteran Affairs at an event in Monroe (located within Alexander’s 5th District) at 2:30 p.m.
That appointment and announcement will likely lead Alexander to resign from Congress, rather than simply retire at the end of his term. And that would mean another special election in the House.
Roll Call also had the story of state Sen. Neil Riser getting U.S. Rep. John Fleming’s endorsement after Alexander’s announcement yesterday that he wasn’t going to seek re-election…
Fewer than 24 hours after Republican Rep. Rodney Alexander announced his retirement, state Sen. Neil Riser is set to pick up an endorsement from Rep. John Fleming, R-La.
“I’m going to support him,” Fleming told CQ Roll Call. “He’s got a strong conservative voting record.”
Louisiana sources say that Riser had notice that Alexander was contemplating retirement. The congressional hopeful has been making phone calls to potential supporters and other potential candidates for several months.
Riser is a virtual shoo-in for the special election on Oct. 19 which is likely to be held. A 60-day special election campaign is almost completely dependent on self-funding, which Riser can do. And with the other major players on the Republican side, Jim Fannin and Mike Walsworth, apparently stepping aside, the real question is whether the Democrats can mount a candidate.
Roll Call mentions Alexandria mayor Jacques Roy as a possibility. State sen. Eric Lafleur (D-Ville Platte) and state sen. Rick Gallot (D-Ruston) are also potential candidates. None of them are going to have the money Riser will.
Riser is one of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s closest allies in the state senate. And the rumor mill has it that Riser might have played a big part in getting Alexander his new gig in the Jindal administration in exchange for the latter clearing out of his House seat and opening things up for an easy Riser win.