Here’s something a little perplexing. It’s state Rep. Ted James (D-Baton Rouge), one of the more irresponsible and inflammatory leftists in Louisiana, running his trap about the Secretary of State race and singling out one candidate among the field as worth voting for while, despite refusing to name names, accusing other candidates of being “bad people.”
So there are two Democrats in the race for Secretary of State. One, Renee Free, used to work in that office and is a likely entry in the runoff. The other, Gwen Collins-Greenup, is a black Democrat from Clinton, which is in the Baton Rouge area.
And Ted James is singling out Julie Stokes as the candidate of choice for people who cares what he thinks?
Like we said, perplexing.
Ted James is not a reach-across-the-aisle kind of guy. He’s about as much of a hack pol as you’ll find, and in fact is one of the leading race-baiters in Baton Rouge – or at least he was, until circumstances elevated Gary Chambers and Denise Marcelle past him.
And yet Ted James is talking up Julie Stokes?
What’s going on with that?
We’ve generally stayed quiet about the stories circulating within some of the Republican campaigns for Secretary of State about Stokes – essentially to the tune that she’s quietly John Bel Edwards’ candidate in the race. We’ve done that because we’re not convinced that’s true. Free, after all, looks like the Democrats’ chosen candidate.
On the other hand, nobody has given Free any money. You’d think if she was the Democrats’ standard bearer she’d be catching some checks from unions and trial lawyers. Not really, though – her campaign has been one of those shoestring affairs you see from obligatory Democrats in races they’re not really contesting.
While Stokes has more money than anybody else.
Now, most of her donors have been some of the usual Republicans, but she’s had some PAC’s and lobbyists send money her way which indicate she’s a friendly receptacle for cash from Edwards’ pals.
Some of that might just be people thinking that because Stokes has more money than any other candidate in the race she’s the one who’s going to win, and therefore they need to grease her in case they need something from the Secretary of State’s office if she’s running it next year. For better or worse, that’s what a lot of political donations can be explained by in this state.
But with all these people claiming that Edwards is quietly backing Stokes, and then here comes Ted James backing her over a black Democrat from the Baton Rouge area or at least a Democrat that some polls have in the lead? It’s curious, frankly.
Ideally, if you’re Edwards, you want Stokes and Free in a runoff. At that point you’re probably going to get Stokes who has been one of your most malleable Republican legislators and who has earned herself a reputation as a snitch to the Fourth Floor with respect to telling the governor what’s said in the Republican delegation meetings.
But the polls indicate that Kyle Ardoin is probably going to prevent a Stokes-Free runoff. It’s probably an Ardoin-Free runoff.
Which is another reason we’re confused, because Ted James giving Stokes props certainly won’t help her get any Republican votes.
Are they trying to engineer an Ardoin-Stokes runoff?
Nothing much would surprise us at this point.