The Pro-Choice Democrat In The LAGOV Race Has Been Bounced Off The Ballot

It’s probably not an enormously big deal, but one of the minor candidates in the Louisiana governor’s race, Democrat Vinny Mendoza, who in previous races has called himself “100 percent pro-choice,” has been disqualified along with two others.

Three lesser-known candidates who registered to run for Louisiana governor have been thrown out of the race because they failed to file their income tax returns.

The secretary of state’s office says that Republicans Manuel Russell Leach and Patrick Doguet and Democrat M.V. “Vinny” Mendoza were disqualified.

The Advocate reports that a judge determined the three contenders didn’t comply with a state law requiring candidates to have filed state and federal income tax returns for each of the past five years.

That leaves six people on the Oct. 12 ballot vying to be governor. Among them, Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards faces two major Republican opponents, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone.

The secretary of state’s office says the period to challenge a candidate’s qualifications has ended.

Mendoza wasn’t likely to pull too much of the vote in the October primary, but he’d actually gotten into double figures twice running for Congress against Steve Scalise in previous cycles. He wasn’t a completely hopeless cause, and had he run on a pro-choice platform he might have been a receptacle for a few protest votes against John Bel Edwards.

But that was a minor distraction for Edwards compared to the fact that Gary Landrieu and Omar Dantzler remained in the governor’s race. Landrieu and Dantzler will, in all likelihood, pull enough votes to keep Edwards from being able to win the race in October, sending it to a runoff where the typical turnout model is unlikely to favor the incumbent Democrat.

As Jeff Sadow wrote earlier today, the remaining field in the governor’s race is enough to hold Edwards to a range somewhere between 38 percent on the low end and 48 percent at the ceiling. There hasn’t been any public polling released since all three candidates went up on TV, though we’re hearing rumblings that some private polling puts Edwards at 46 or 47 percent in a three-way race – we would argue that any poll of the primary should include not just Edwards, Ralph Abraham and Eddie Rispone but also Dantzler and Landrieu, since the latter two will pull some minor but nevertheless significant piece of the vote away from Edwards, and that would turn his 47 percent into 40 or less.

Early next month we’re going to conduct a second installment of the Hayride-Multi-Quest gubernatorial survey and we will include both Landrieu and Dantzler in our results.

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