Here’s what the press release, out this afternoon, just said…
David Vitter today announced that he has picked up key endorsements in the Acadiana and Southwest Louisiana region. Congressman Charles Boustany Jr. M.D. (R-South Louisiana) and Lafayette Mayor Joey Durel both endorsed David Vitter’s campaign to be Louisiana’s next Governor.
“It’s a real honor, and truly humbling to receive the support of Congressman Charles Boustany and Mayor Joey Durel in Lafayette today,” Vitter said. “I’m proud to stand with both of these great Louisiana leaders to lead our state forward.”
“As a conservative leader in the Senate, David has been relentless in making government smaller, more efficient, and able to truly work for all of us. We need a governor who will bring conservative, results-oriented, pragmatic leadership to Baton Rouge. We need David Vitter as our next Governor,” said Rep. Boustany.
“David is one of the most hard-working and accessible representatives I’ve ever worked with. And he listens. It’s common knowledge that if you need something done – you call David Vitter,” said Mayor Durel. “He’s a leader for our region, including the oil and gas industry, and he will be a great leader for Louisiana.”
Is this a big deal? It does reflect something of a conventional wisdom that Vitter is (a) the likely next governor and (b) assured of making the runoff, with his likely opponent being a Democrat. Under those circumstances, a congressman hoping to perhaps move up to Vitter’s Senate seat should he be elected this fall and the state’s most prominent Republican mayor wouldn’t cause much of a ripple by endorsing him.
But with Boustany and Durel both hailing from Lafayette, their endorsements of Vitter has to be seen as, at minimum, a missed opportunity for Scott Angelle. After all, Angelle is from next door in St. Martin Parish, he’s cast himself as the Cajun candidate in the race and he’s already spent some $200,000 on TV in the Lafayette market in an effort to turn it into a stronghold – and Angelle celebrated the results of that ad buy a couple of weeks ago by releasing a poll that had him beating Vitter 27-17 in the area. Having the two most prominent politicians in Acadiana go for Vitter has to sting a little.
Fundamentally, the endorsements don’t change the race. The race is what it’s always been – Vitter has a third of the vote, the Democrats have a third of the vote, and Angelle and Jay Dardenne are splitting the third in the middle. And unless there is a second Democrat in the race to split that third, something which looks increasingly unlikely as time goes by and the fundraising opportunities shrink for a new entrant into the race, it’s going to be Vitter and John Bel Edwards in the runoff.