Buddy Roemer Endorses John Kennedy, Mike Strain Endorses Charles Boustany

We wouldn’t call these earthshaking events in Louisiana politics. Buddy Roemer hasn’t been relevant in this state since 1991, when he let David Duke of all people knock him out of the runoff as a sitting governor seeking re-election. And Strain, who’s a very popular Commissioner of Agriculture in Louisiana, still hasn’t quite emerged as a kingmaker in the state.

But it’s July, and things are slow, so we’ll take what news on the Senate race we can get.

Baton Rouge, LA–John Kennedy today received former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer’s endorsement in his bid for the U.S. Senate.

“Our hard-working families deserve the kind of leadership that only John Kennedy is able to provide,” said Gov. Roemer.  “As a Washington outsider, John is not part of the ineffective political class that has failed us for so many years.”

Charles “Buddy” Roemer served as the 52nd Governor of Louisiana from 1988 to 1992, and as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1988.

“I’m honored to have Gov. Roemer’s support because he understands, like I do, the importance of restoring fiscal sanity to government,” said Kennedy.  “It’s time to take our country back and bring some Louisiana common sense to Washington, D.C.”

Kennedy continues to enjoy a sizable lead in the race for U.S. Senate, dominating the last five polls.

Meanwhile, Strain’s endorsement of Boustany is coming in Henderson, just before lunch today…

Boustany, R-Lafayette, and Strain, also a Republican, will make the official announcement at 11:45 this morning in Henderson, the heart of Acadiana’s aquaculture and farm country, but confirmed the endorsement in an interview with USA Today Network of Louisiana.

“Mike is widely respect by the agriculture community and his endorsement verifies the fact that I’ve been the go-to guy on ag issues,” said Boustany, a former member of the House Agriculture Committee, a spot now occupied by 5th District U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Alto.

Strain is the second statewide elected official to make an endorsement in the crowed race. Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, previously endorsed Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, D-Elm Grove.

“No one fights harder for Louisiana’s agriculture, aquaculture and forestry industries than Dr. Boustany,” Strain said. “(While) serving on the House Agriculture Committee, Dr. Boustany wrote common-sense Farm Bills supporting Louisiana agriculture.

“He has worked to open markets for Louisiana-grown and manufactured products, and written law to stop illegal foreign products from undercutting our domestic producers. Louisiana agriculture needs Dr. Boustany in the U.S. Senate to fight for us. I support him as our next senator.”

Will either of these matter? Well, Strain does have a solid network of farmers and people in industries related to agriculture throughout the state, and that network is capable of raising real money for political candidates. The rural vote, and the agribusiness vote, look like they would be somewhat up for grabs in this race – Campbell covers a good bit of that geography up in North Louisiana as its representative on the PSC, and John Fleming has a lot of rural area in his congressional district as well, plus Kennedy has been a presence among rural voters in Louisiana for some time. So for Strain to come down on Boustany’s side the potential exists that money and votes might move his way accordingly.

How much and how many? We’ll see. It won’t be a giant amount. But with a field this crowded, two or three percent of the vote could well be enough to vault someone from the pack into the runoff.

One more tidbit of information on the Senate race – the Baton Rouge Business Report did an online poll of the race yesterday, and while it was hardly scientific the results were somewhat plausible (if perhaps skewed Republican)…

brbr poll 7-26-16

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