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Tuesday, 15 September 2015 11:57
Sign of times with La. Governor and legislative elections

Lacapitol-red-blueby Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net

Nine for governor
    Nine candidates qualified for the coveted post of governor of Louisiana last week – three Democrats, three Republicans, two No Party, and one Other Party.
    But the race remains a four-man battle between Republicans U.S. Sen. David Vitter, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards.

    There are no viable candidates among the other five who qualified.  One of them is from Shreveport – S.L. Simpson, an African-American Democrat.
    The campaign has taken a controversial turn with a Super PAC airing negative spots about Vitter’s  past involvement with prostitutes and the fact that he kept a staffer on the payroll who was involved in a domestic violence incident.
    The television and radio spots sent the Vitter camp into a frenzy as they tried to get stations to pull the ad.  Some have, some haven’t.
    But some analysts believe there is more to come from another Super PAC, which if opposing Vitter.
    One can expect the race to become more intense as the candidates head into the stretch run for theOct. 24 primary.
    The consensus is that Democrat Edwards will be in the runoff.  The big battle is among the three viable Republicans – Vitter, Angelle, and Dardenne.  So far, Vitter has maintained a lead over his two GOP rivals, but if he continues to be hit by ads reminding voters of his “serious sin,” his numbers could drop.

A sign of the times?
    In Louisiana, and likely elsewhere, it is a time-honored tradition to steal political yard signs.  And so it is happening in this election cycle right here in northwest Louisiana.
    But a word of caution to the sign thieves.  You may get caught on tape with all the electronic devices out there.
    It could spell the death knell for a candidate if his or her representative is caught stealing signs. If it continues, theFax-Netwill publicize who the guilty candidates are.

State legislative races
    Most of the buzz among the races for the state House and Senate was about House District 4.  First, state Rep. Patrick Williams announced he would not seek re-election.
    Two candidates qualified – Reginald Johnson and Fred Moss IV.  But on the last day at the last hour of qualifying, along came former Councilman, state Rep. and Mayor Cedric Glover.
    Glover decided he wanted his old seat back. He represented District 4 before being elected mayor of Shreveport for two terms.
    And who would dare challenge state Sen. Greg Tarver?  Well, Jim Slagle of Vivian did.  Not much of a challenge, politicos say, since Slagle is white and is running in a majority-black district.
    Here is a look at other area races:
    Senate District 36 – Incumbent Robert Adley is term-limited.  Qualifying were state Rep. Henry Burns, Ryan Gatti, and Todd Hollenshead.
    Senate District 37 – Incumbent Barrow Peacock is unopposed and re-elected.
    Senate District 38 – Incumbent Sherri Smith Buffington is term-limited.  Qualifying were state Rep. Richie Burford, Cloyce Clark, John Milkovich, and Memayel Warren.
    House District 1 – Incumbent Jim Morris has one opponent – “Mike Chicken Commander” Boyter.
    House District 2 – Incumbent Roy Burrell is term-limited.  Two qualified – former City Councilman Sam Jenkins and Terence Vinson.
    House District 3 – Incumbent Barbara Norton is unopposed and re-elected.
    House District 5 – Incumbent Alan Seabaugh has one opponent – Eileen Velez.
    House District 6 – Incumbent Thomas Carmody is unopposed and re-elected.
    House  District  7 – Incumbent Richie Burford is vacating the seat to run for the Senate.  Three qualified – Larry Bagley, Steve Casey, and Perry McDaniel.
    House District 8 – Incumbent Mike Johnson is unopposed and re-elected.
    House District 9 – Incumbent Henry Burns in running for the Senate.  Two qualified – Dodie Horton and Mike McHalffey.
    House District 10 – Incumbent Gene Reynolds is unopposed and re-elected.

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