The field for the 6th District congressional race is developing slowly, as the poorly-kept secret that Baton Rouge attorney (and one of the architects of the CATS tax) Cassie Felder is entering the race as a Republican became a public item this week.
It’s difficult to ascertain how much of a factor in the race Felder will be. On one hand she has Baton Rouge political consultants Jason Hebert and Scott Hobbs of The Political Firm on her team, and Hebert and Hobbs are Louisiana’s political answer to Winston Wolf.
On the other, there is yesterday’s Quote Of The Day…
“I am new to politics, and I know it’s not a game of winners and losers.”
She said that, and we’re not sure if she actually believes it. If so, she’s not going to be a very formidable candidate – because it’s hard NOT to find examples of how politics is a game of winners and losers.
That came off as a gaffe of sorts, and in that respect it puts Felder in a similar category to Dan Claitor, whose campaign announcement was scarred by what the Times-Picayune reported as a statement equating Tony Perkins with David Duke. And while the price Felder will pay for what looks like naivete’ might not be as severe as that which Claitor has already paid for his misstep, she didn’t do herself any favors with that quote.
Meanwhile, the other announced candidate for the 6th District, Paul Dietzel, just picked up an endorsement from a former holder of that seat…
Moore’s endorsement comes as Dietzel is a few days away from his campaign kickoff event, which will be held at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge on Jan. 17. He’s bringing in Herman Cain as a speaker for the event, lending some national weight to the affair, and the list of event hosts includes some rather well-known political names in South Louisiana (and a spot on the event host list involves a max-out $2600 donation). With 22 names on that list, and another 10 names on the host committee list at $1000 each, some easy math indicates he’s pulling in $67,000 and change from that event.
Dietzel brought in about $80,000 for the fourth quarter last year and will report $75,000 in the bank. His burn rate a year out from the election is too high, but so far he looks like he’s at least capable of ramping up his fundraising and bringing in some high-profile endorsements. Which he will undoubtedly need to do; that $75,000 will have to grow tenfold if Dietzel has a chance to make the runoff.
We don’t know yet whether Felder can do the same. Claitor is expected to raise a significant sum; the last disclosure form he filed with the state Ethics board showed him with $129,000 in cash on hand at the end of 2012, which is a respectable amount for a state senator but nothing like what he’d need to raise for a U.S. House race.
If nothing else, so far Dietzel looks like he’s capable of putting on a show. That’s an important trait in a Louisiana politician. He’ll need to demonstrate more than just that, but depending on who else joins the field he might just overcome those questions about his running for Congress at the tender age of 27.