Jeremy Alford Has Vance McAllister Talking About Running For The Senate

UPDATE: Alford called with a clarification: he said McAllister called him with this news. Alford didn’t come out and say that, but McAllister did call him, and after making a little bit of small talk he dropped this bomb.

So this wasn’t quite a case of Jeremy ginning up a story. It’s McAllister trying to create buzz around a prospective Senate campaign.

ORIGINAL POST: He did a heck of a job squeezing one more headline out of that turkey.

Former Congressman Vance McAllister of Swartz is out of elected office but not out of politics. He told LaPolitics recently that he would consider running for the U.S. Senate in 2016, depending on the circumstances.

Right now, those circumstances center around fellow Republican Congressman John Fleming of Minden, who is growing increasingly vocal about wanting the seat should incumbent Sen. David Vitter be elected governor.

“If (Fleming) is the only one running, I would consider it,” McAllister said. “I don’t have a problem being against another Republican if it’s the wrong kind of Republican running. We don’t need another Ted Cruz.”

The shot at the Texas senator is in reference to Fleming’s efforts to move the House further to the right, most recently evidenced by the congressman’s decision to leave the Republican Study Committee along with other conservatives to form a new group.

Alford notes that while McAllister might have a tough time actually winning – which is a colossal understatement seeing as though he pulled just 11 percent of the primary vote as an incumbent, which is the worst showing by an incumbent in a Louisiana Congressional election we’ve ever heard of (perhaps there’s an incumbent who’s done worse, but we don’t know of any and thus we feel safe in saying McAllister was more profoundly rejected than any Louisiana member of Congress in the history of the state) – he might play the part of a stalking horse in the 2016 race, perhaps cutting up the North Louisiana vote for Fleming and thus paving the way for, say, Rep. Charles Boustany to win. McAllister is more ideologically aligned with Boustany than any of the other Republicans in the Louisiana delegation.

But what kind of stalking horse can McAllister really be? Nobody is going to write a check to his campaign, which means he’d have to self-fund. And for people in North Louisiana who might see a regional angle to the election there would be even more reason to reject McAllister – voting for him to deny Fleming a spot in the runoff would be tantamount to voting for South Louisiana, which a lot of people wouldn’t want to do if they care where in the stat their Senator comes from. It’s not like McAllister’s biography or performance in Congress would recommend him as a Senate candidate, and if Boustany is in the race it’s hard to make the case that the centrist “country-club” Republican market wouldn’t be served by the congressman from Lafayette.

McAllister would be a minor candidate, at best. He’d get a degree of media attention, along the lines of “look at Louisiana, running crooks and scumbags for office again” in the early stages of the campaign. But he would show up as a tiny blip in the polls and his fundraising numbers would be nonexistent unless he opted to self-fund a hopeless campaign, and by qualifying he’d be nowhere to be found.

But as a means of generating traffic for LAPolitics.com, McAllister talking about running for the Senate and trashing Fleming as another Ted Cruz is gold. So kudos to Alford for pulling that one off in what otherwise looks like a slow week in Louisiana politics.

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