Landrieu told the media that she may be the last statewide-elected Democrat, but she doesn’t see herself as a dying breed. “Louisiana has a very independent streak,” she said, “and they vote on who they believe can lead the state and deliver for the state.”
Landrieu believes her bipartisan record and growing clout in the U.S. Senate show that she can be re-elected despite the fact Louisiana has turned more Republican.
Landrieu served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1980 to 1988. She then ran for state Treasurer and won and held the office until 1996. In the fall of 1995, she entered the governor’s race where she finished third (18%) behind Republican Mike Foster (26%) and Democrat Cleo Fields (19%).
The loss opened the door to run in 1996 for the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Democrat Bennett Johnston of Shreveport. It was a brutal race with Landrieu defeating Republican Woody Jenkins by 5,788 votes. Jenkins contested the election, but the U.S. Senate seated Landrieu.
In 2002, Landrieu defeated Republican Suzanne Haik Terrell by a 52-48% margin, and in 2008, Landrieu won in the primary with 52%. Coming in second was Republican John Kennedy with 46%.
No Republican opponents have surfaced yet, but it's still early.
By Lou Gehrig Burnett
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