Something fantastic happened today. Namely, this…
Guillory’s name had been mentioned for lots of potential openings, most notably Mary Landrieu’s Senate seat next year and even the 5th District congressional race Vance McAllister won in November.
But Lt. Governor was always the race he was best suited for. The Lt. Governor, as the position is set up in Louisiana, is the state’s ambassador to the world. The man on that video, and the man we know, is a consummate ambassador for this state. Guillory has fought for civil rights all his life, starting with his being arrested at age 15 for the crime of trying to check out books from the Opelousas Public Library – at the time black people were denied that right. He’s a military veteran, a former professor and a veteran public servant who’s worked in public policy from Maryland to Seattle. He’s also an athlete who has climbed mountains, an artist who danced with a ballet company and an accomplished lawyer and legislator. He’s a charming and engaging politician, an intellectual and one of the snappiest dressers imaginable.
And he’s a true conservative who is being recognized as such since his coming out as a Republican at the @large conference in May of this year.
It’s difficult to imagine a better face for Louisiana to put in front of the nation as its ambassador. And for the face to be the first African-American elected to statewide office ever, and the first African-American to serve in a statewide position since P.B.S. Pinchback was our governor for 35 days from 1872-73 – and for him to be elected not out of some sense of novelty or obligation but in recognition of his quality – presents us with a fabulous opportunity.
What is more, in this race the Democrats actually will have a candidate capable of making the runoff. Baton Rouge mayor-president Kip Holden has already announced he’s running, and Holden is telling people he’s going to win easily.
But a Guillory-Holden race will not go well for, if the St. George effort continues apace, the man who will have “broken” Baton Rouge. Race will not be the issue in a runoff between a black conservative and a black liberal; ideology – and the quality of character and record will be.
We foresee a resounding victory for Guillory, and we see him as an outstanding lieutenant governor. We normally prefer to wait before making endorsements. Not this time. We’re for Elbert, and you should be, too.