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In a sign that a group of fiscally conservative Democrats is eyeing key gains in the Bayou State this fall, the Blue Dog Coalition will make two new endorsement announcements today.

First, in the southwest 7th district of Rep. Charles Boustany (R), the Blue Dogs have decided to back state Sen. Don Cravins Jr. (D).

Cravins is a freshman state Senator, who also served one term in the Louisiana House of Representatives. He entered the race against Boustany in late June with the vocal backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Cravins is a black, pro-gun, anti-abortion-rights Catholic whose father was also a state legislator and erstwhile candidate for the Congressional seat.

The 7th is a conservative district that voted for President Bush in 2004 by a 21-point margin, but it had long been represented by moderate Democrats before 2004. The district is about one-quarter black and also has a large number of Catholics.

Meanwhile in the open 4th district seat of retiring Rep. Jim McCrery (R), the Blue Dogs are set to announce their endorsement of Democrat Paul Carmouche, a well-known local prosecutor. Carmouche, who is anti-abortion and pro-gun, as well as fiscally conservative, has already been added to the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” fundraising and infrastructure program.

Carmouche, who has served as a parish district attorney for 30 years, is the sole top-tier Democrat in a race that features several Republicans vying for the nomination. He is hoping to follow in the footsteps of newly elected Rep. Don Cazayoux (D-La.), who also was endorsed by the Blue Dog Coalition and went on to win a special election in an open seat that had previously been held by a Republican for more than 20 years.

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