Four years ago, Dale Erdey won re-election in a substantial landslide over challenger Derek Babcock in Senate District 13. The final margin was 65-35, which was a bitter disappointment to the Babcock camp as it hoped to ride a Tea Party wave into an upset.
The Tea Party is less formidable now than it was then, but that can also be said of Erdey, whose estranged wife is now working in Babcock’s campaign.
And today, EASTPAC, the arm of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry charged with issuing endorsements in the Baton Rouge area, has opted to go once again with the challenger instead of Erdey after doing the same in 2011…
EASTPAC, a political action committee of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), today announced the endorsement of Derek Babcock for Senate District 13.
EASTPAC actively searches for candidates who support job growth policies and economic development in Louisiana,” Milton Graugnard, chair of EASTPAC, said. “Derek’s background uniquely qualifies him to run for Senate District 13.”
EASTPAC covers the greater Baton Rouge area including Livingston parish.
Babcock is a successful insurance agency owner who believes in hard work, American ingenuity and freedom from overbearing government. Babcock is the current Vice Chairman of the Louisiana Family Forum and is a Life Member of the NRA. He and his wife of 20 years, Heather Holland Babcock, have four children and live in the Denham Springs/Walker area.
EASTPAC endorsed Derek Babcock in 2011 in his previous run for the Senate against the incumbent.
“I am honored to receive this important endorsement and look forward to standing with the business leaders in Louisiana to create more jobs for our people,” said Derek Babcock.
“We encourage the voters of Senate District 13 to support Derek Babcock in his efforts to win this important senate seat,” said EASTPAC executive director Brian Landry.
Erdey is still regarded as the favorite, even though his voting record as an opponent of school choice and a proponent of taxes and corporate welfare wouldn’t seem to fit with a district so overwhelmingly conservative that it voted 86 percent for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election and 84.7 percent for Bill Cassidy in the Senate runoff last year. Erdey’s last campaign filing showed him with a $62,000 war chest, to Babcock’s $11,000, though Babcock had spent some $83,000 to Erdey’s $35,000.
This isn’t likely to be a 65-35 race. It will be closer. The question is whether Babcock can pull enough voters dissatisfied with Erdey to win it.
UPDATE: The estranged wife of Sen. Erdey says that, contrary to the oft-referenced story in political circles, she is not on Babcock’s team…
It has been brought to my attention a comment was made in reference to the estranged wife of Dale Erdey allegedly being involved in the campaign of Derek Babcock. Please let this serve as official notice that as a former wife of Dale Erdey, I have not been involved in the current campaign of Dale Erdey, Derek Babcock, nor any other political candidate.
In connection therein, my position prohibits one from actively engaging in political campaigns. I respectfully ask that while my name was not directly mentioned, you take appropriate and remedial measures to alleviate any association I might have with the Dale Erdey or the Derek Babcock campaign.
I trust you understand the importance of this issue with regards to my employment. Thanking you in advance for your immediate action.