Yet, last week, out of 91,425 votes cast in the suburb of New Orleans, for the most part, a strong white conservative state, Vitter only received 34,331 ballots which were 38% of the vote.
The parish, which did not suffer much rain, as did other locations in the state, however, had a 34.9 turnout (unofficial total), far below the statewide average, which might mean that the enthusiasm for the candidates running for governor was not quite strong, not even for Vitter, on his home turf.
Things just might not get any better.
Lawrence Chehardy, one of the most well-known politico, a former assessor, who has been recognized as an influential force in the Parish, wrote a scathing column against Vitter. This publication, Bayoubuzz has been publishing all of Chehardy’s opinions since he resigned from the assessor’s position.
Some of the comments from Chehardy were the sharpest I have heard or read from anyone, and certainly from a fellow republican, even those from Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle, Vitter's republican opponents during the primary. Chehardy column, “Bitter Vitter’s shameful campaign should come clean”, was full of sharp comments. Here are just a few:
| “And by the way, when is David Vitter going to tell the voters of Louisiana just what his “serious sin” was? The press has not pushed him on this. It is time for him to come clean if he is serious about being our state’s next governor.”
It is time to get real. This campaign should be about issues, not scare tactics or veiled racist attack spots. The losers in such a campaign are the people of Louisiana. The tone of the Vitter campaign and its subordinates, such as the Super PAC, are doing a disservice to the people of Louisiana. Having brought Washington-style politics to Louisiana has done a real disservice to our state. It is reason enough to vote against Mr. Vitter and if nothing else than to send a message that vile, vicious, and misleading negative campaigns have no place in Louisiana politics. It is fair to criticize and point out candidate’s shortcomings with facts, not half-truths or statements taken out of context. “
It appears that Chehardy might not be the only high-profile Jefferson Parish resident having his say against the US Senator. Already, the most popular politician in the state, Sheriff Newell Normand, who had been secretively videoed by an investigator, hired by the Vitter campaign, on Friday, the day prior to election day, said early this week, that Vitter would be the worst governor in history--if elected.
Unquestionably, Vitter and Normand have a history and last week’s bizarre spy escapades did not make things better.
Now, however, according to LaPolitics, Normand is cutting a commercial for the GumboPac, a 3rd-party group that has previously been ridiculed by Vitter and others for running commercials that Vitter backers have claimed were beneath the campaign dignity. But, with Normand adding his popularity to the airwaves on behalf of the PAC, it surely adds credibility to its efforts.
Certainly, Chehardy and Normand are not the only Jefferson Parish politicians with political sway. Many of the parish’s republican elected officials are expected to support their party’s standard bearer. The state’s Louisiana State Republican Party’s Chairman Roger Villere also lives in Jefferson and the state party has surely supported Vitter over democrat Jon Bel Edwards. However, if yesterday’s major republican rally in Baton Rouge gathering is any indication at all, Vitter is not getting out the party’s officials and government officials. Not yet, at least.
Vitter is still favored to win according to most national crystal ballers although a Democratic Pollster, paid for by the anti-Vitter PAC, claims otherwise, that Edwards holds a 12-point lead.
Anybody knowing Vitter’s campaigning in the past is quite aware that he is the best there is in the state. So far, he has not lost a race, is hard-hitting, and pulls no punches.
But, if Vitter cannot gain momentum in his home-base, although he might not be knocked out, he could be victimized by a split card, when the bout does go the distance.