Louisiana: After the Runoff, So Bipartisan
All of a sudden, everything’s bipartisan in Louisiana. It was only last December Sen. Mary Landrieu was bounced from office by Republican Bill Cassidy after being unrelentingly tied to national Democrats. But Saturday’s runoff elections seemed to have released statewide love among Pelican State partisans. “I want everyone to recognize that this victory, this effort was a bipartisan effort,” former Rep. Jeff Landry said in his victory speech after winning the Louisiana attorney general’s race over fellow Republican Buddy Caldwell.
Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, benefited f rom the support of Sen. David Vitter’s former GOP gubernatorial opponents. Such cross-party support trickled down-ballot to races like Landry’s. In a concise speech Saturday night after returns came in, Landry, the one-term congressman who drew the short straw in the 2012 redistricting race and lost that year to GOP Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., thanked his former Democratic opponent from the primary, Geri Broussard Baloney.
Baloney, who came in third in the Oct. 24 primary, endorsed Landry on Nov. 2 over Caldwell , the incumbent and a former Democrat. Landry said Baloney “not only endorsed our campaign, but supported our efforts.”
Baloney, who is African-American, may have provided a key endorsement for Landry. The Edwards campaign mobilized African-Americans in its 56 percent to 44 percent victory. Landry won by a similar 56 percent to 44 percent result. Turnout was similar for both races, according to the Louisiana secretary of State’s office: About 38 percent of the electorate for the governor’s race and 37 percent for the AG’s contest.
It will be worth checking in on how long the bipartisan bonhomie lasts in Baton Rouge as Edwards, who looks to implement parts of the Affordable Care Act that Landry, as a congressman, vowed to gut.
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