In order to have a shot at making the runoff, John Fleming has to do very well in the areas of the state he already represents in Congress. But front-runner John Kennedy just snagged a key endorsement in Fleming’s district.
Natchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin has endorsed Kennedy over Fleming. That will help Kennedy and even Charles Boustany make the argument that Fleming is a do-nothing Congressman who will do nothing for Louisiana.
“As Treasurer, John Kennedy has been attentive to the needs of the people of North Louisiana,” said Parish President Nowlin in a press release. “I am confident that he will be a leader for all of Louisiana. That’s why I’m proud to endorse John for U.S. Senate.”
“I’ve enjoyed working with Rick for many years. I’m proud to call him a friend, and I’m honored to have his support,” said Kennedy in a press release. “People in Louisiana are tired of the ineffective political club in Washington that puts special interests first. When I’m elected to the Senate, I will continue to put taxpayers first, just as I always have.”
It’s a blow to have local government and civic leaders in your own district endorse your opponent if you’re running statewide. It demonstrates that you were ineffective in Congress.
Now Fleming can come back to these charges and say that he was not going to bring back home pork to his district because he was a fiscal conservative. But Fleming can say he fought on the important, ideological issues that matter to conservative voters. It’s the time-honored difference between transactional vs principle politics.
Is there a constituency for Fleming’s argument? I’m not sure, but that’s Fleming’s only shot at making the runoff is to differentiate himself with Kennedy and Boustany who are running on their “effectiveness” in government.