Cassidy Backs Vitter For Governor

Well, of course he would. After all, it was Vitter’s political camp from which Cassidy drew a good deal of his campaign organization, including his campaign manager Joel DiGrado, and Vitter’s efforts to wipe the field clear of other prominent Republicans (like John Fleming, for example) played a large part in making Cassidy the primary Republican opponent to Mary Landrieu last fall.

Not to back his political ally, particularly when Vitter’s election as governor would make him Louisiana’s senior senator in January 2016, would make Cassidy look ungrateful as well as unwise.

So this wasn’t a big story, just something which deserved to be marked down as an historical fact…

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy said he’s backing his fellow senator and Republican David Vitter in the Louisiana governor’s race.

During a question and answer session with the audience following his luncheon speech Wednesday to the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Relators Commercial and Investment Division, Cassidy was asked who he was supporting in the governor’s race.

“I’ll be supporting Vitter,” Cassidy said, adding that there are good people who are also running in the race.

He praised Vitter for his hard work. “He’s a pragmatist,” said Cassidy. “He’s also willing to offend the vested interests that sometime need to be offended…It’s a nice combination.”

The major effect of Cassidy’s backing should be in fundraising. After all, Cassidy went through $15.5 million in last year’s Senate race, which is an astonishing figure for a challenger in a state of 4.5 million people. If he’s able to leverage some of that support behind Vitter this fall it could make for a daunting challenge for the rest of the field.

But one other point to make about this is one we already knew; namely, that Cassidy officially backing Vitter cements for all time the answer to the question of what faction he’s part of in Louisiana’s Republican political field. There was a time when Cassidy had flirted with the Bobby Jindal faction; after all, Jindal’s political guru Timmy Teepell was Cassidy’s campaign manager when he ran for re-election in 2012. But when Teepell exited the scene and was replaced by DiGrado, who has worked in several roles for Vitter and is expected to have a role of some kind in the Senator’s gubernatorial bid this year, that was a sign Cassidy was switching to the Vitter camp. And now he’s come out and endorsed Vitter over Scott Angelle, who is seen as the Jindal camp’s candidate – so there is little question where he aligns himself within the party.

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