Most of this piece will be presented without commentary.
The Advocate had an article about the U.S. Senate between Caroline Fayard and Foster Campbell. They’re fighting over which vision of the Democratic Party is best for Louisiana.
Campbell, a north Louisiana state senator for a quarter-century before joining the PSC, started the race with greater name recognition and the backing of the state’s top Democrat, Gov. John Bel Edwards, and members of the team that helped propel Edwards to victory last fall.
But Fayard has worked hard to narrow the gap, boosted by the support of high-profile New Orleans Democrats like Mayor Mitch Landrieu and consultant James Carville.
“In a sense, this is a proxy battle between Gov. Edwards and the Landrieus. Which Democrat is king in this state?” said John Couvillon, a political analyst and pollster.
He said Edwards’ endorsement of Campbell represents the continuing trend of north Louisiana Democratic populism stemming back to Huey P. Long, while the Landrieus are pushing the more progressive values of the party.
Fayard and Campbell align on major Democratic issues like preserving the Affordable Care Act – with a few tweaks – and raising the minimum wage. They also depart from the party in the same places: They both describe themselves as anti-abortion, and they both generally oppose additional gun control measures.
They’re also clashing over the presidential race.
Fayard said she supports Obama and voted for him in both elections. She was quoted in 2011 by Gambit as saying she was “against the president,” but she contends that it was only in the context of a drilling moratorium that hurt Louisiana industries following the BP oil spill.
Fayard’s spokesman, Beau Tidwell, in turn questioned Campbell’s loyalty to the party, noting that he has refused to answer questions about whether he supports Hillary Clinton in the presidential race and has previously sidestepped questions about his own support of Obama.
In July, Campbell dodged a question at the Baton Rouge Press Club about whether he voted for Obama, saying that the president has done good things but he’s “not in anybody’s shirt pocket.” And last week, Campbell was the only major candidate in the Senate race who didn’t affirm support of their party’s nominee in the presidential race.
Most political experts give Foster Campbell the edge in possibly making the runoff. The populist wing of the Democratic party has traditionally been more dominant than the progressive wing. The populists have also been more successful statewide.