In the buildup to election season, the LAGOP recently dropped an ad targeting “infamous liberal lies.” The ad, released earlier this week, is aimed at energizing conservative voters with an eye toward heavy turnout in the October primary election.
Many on the Right are wary of this election’s intraparty fighting, which has been relatively mild, due to bad memories from the David Vitter-Scott Angelle-Jay Dardenne Ragnarok which allowed John Bel Edwards to slide in largely unopposed while the three Republicans cut each other to ribbons. A political action committee affiliated with Congressman Ralph Abraham recently released a web ad of his own criticizing fellow Republican candidate Eddie Rispone. The ad alleged Rispone was trying to “buy this election” with $10 million of his own money Rispone has funneled into his campaign. Abraham’s campaign has a sizable lead over Rispone in polling of the race (Abraham sat at 35 percent in the Hayride-MultiQuest poll of a four-way primary released last week, while Rispone was at only 6.5 percent), but with only $1.3 million in the bank his fundraising is well behind that of Rispone and Edwards. The PAC’s messaging is aimed at closing the money gap with Rispone.
As election season draws closer, conservative activists are hoping the primary messaging will be turned back to Edwards’ shortcomings rather than those of fellow Republicans. Louis Gurvich, the chairman of the LAGOP, didn’t mince words when he warned against Republican-on-Republican attacks, “We must wage this campaign in the knowledge that Republican infighting only assures a second victory for John Bel Edwards.”
The Abraham campaign released a statement ensuring they had no involvement with Rispone-themed attack ads and cited the Securing Louisiana’s Future PAC was acting on their own accord.
“We’re 100% focused on defeating John Bel Edwards and hope all Republicans and conservative groups remain focused on that goal,” Abraham’s political consultant Lionel Rainey said in a statement.
One thing is for sure: a united Republican party scares Edwards’ campaign. Chairman Gurvich is absolutely on the money, the party can’t keep dividing itself. Eddie Rispone and Ralph Abraham need to keep their focus on their liberal opponent if either of them wants to stand a chance. Coming off a slight decline in statewide polls, JBE has to be estatic to see his opponents infighting.
Let’s refocus and win this election for Louisiana, not the Baton Rouge trial attorneys and other status-quo special interest groups which have held sway for the past four years.