Congressman Clay Higgins should have a relatively easy path to re-election in November. He’s got money, name recognition, and is a solidly conservative guy (albeit a few flaws here and there, much like any other politician) in a conservative district, Louisiana’s 3rd.
Still, there have been folks who have wanted to jump up and take his spot. A Republican named Joshua Guillory, profiled by Lamar White in January, is one. A Democrat named Mildred “Mimi” Methvin, who has filed the paperwork, is another.
Methvin touts herself as someone who has worked in “every branch of government,” according to her website. She is a former U.S. Attorney, a former federal judge, and currently a lawyer in the Lafayette area.
While her platform and viewpoints are not readily available for public consumption (yet), there is a very clear tell as to what kind of Democrat (hint: not a blue dog) she will be based on her campaign manager.
Mike Stagg, former communications director for the Louisiana Democratic Party, will be guiding Methvin through the primary process, according to an article by Lafayette’s Daily Advertiser.
“She’s moved by the history of the moment and the general level of awareness people are paying to politics,” said Mike Stagg, Methvin’s campaign manager. “There’s nobody speaking from a woman’s perspective — at least from this district.”
Stagg said Methvin decided to run in part because of the 2016 election of President Donald Trump. Increased interest among women also comes as the nation focuses on the #MeToo movement on sexual harassment, domestic violence and the renewed push for gun control.
For those of you unfamiliar with Stagg’s work, don’t worry. He’s been a subject of discussion at The Hayride before. For starters, he was pushing for Republicans to stop Neil Riser’s congressional aspirations back in 2013 (emphasis mine):
There are several Democrats in the 5th District race. Notice how Stagg didn’t mention Jamie Mayo, or Robert Johnson, or Marcus Hunter? He’s supposed to be behind one of them as a big Dem booster. Instead, nada.
That says something. It tells you Mike Stagg, like a lot of the Louisiana Democrats’ remaining muckety-mucks, don’t actually believe they’re viable in congressional races in Louisiana any more, or at least outside of the tailor-made Democrat district Cedric Richmond currently represents. And that if they want to beat the candidate they think is Bobby Jindal’s handpicked guy, they have to throw in behind somebody who’s been fighting their people in the electoral trenches for nearly 30 years rather than one of their own.
And here he is, as someone who has a problem with filling out paperwork for the Board of Ethics:
The Louisiana Board of Ethics is getting ready to fine [Karen Carter] Peterson’s new co-communications directors, both of which broke the law by failing to file campaign finance forms in the fall elections.
Mike Stagg, who ran unsuccessfully for Lafayette city-parish president in 2011, is facing $4,840 in fines and Kelly J. Scott, who lost in his Senate District 24 bid in October, might have to shell out $720 in penalties.
Both men eventually filed the forms after the Ethics Board received complaints and well after the Oct. 22 election was over.
We’re not exactly sure why Methvin would hire someone who is clearly terrible at his job, but it goes to show that the Democrats don’t have much of a bench across the board for statewide and federal races in Louisiana.
Higgins may have more to worry about from Guillory, but it’s difficult to see that playing out right now. Methvin has, according to sources, vowed not to take PAC money, and will be trying to run a grassroots campaign, but the entire platform will undoubtedly be built on an anti-Trump platform. That is not going to play well in the district, particularly her native Lafayette, which has a strong conservative media presence in the local talk station, KPEL, and very few resources for Democrats to tap into outside of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette campus (which won’t provide much in terms of money).