Wednesday, August 21, 2013

14 Seek Alexander’s Seat In Congress; Holloway Throws a Monkey Wrench Into Riser’s Coronation

A whopping 14 contenders have qualified for the October 19th Special Election to fill the remaining term of Louisiana 5th Congressional District Congressman Rodney Alexander. Alexander resigned effective September 26thto accept a position in the Jindal Administration as the head of Veteran's Affairs.

Five Republicans, Four Democrats, 2 Libertarians, 2 “Other party”, and 1 Green party representative are the qualifiers.

The Republican field is led by State Senator Neil Riser of Columbia and PSC Commissioner Clyde Holloway of Forest Hill. Riser was the presumptive Republican favorite before Holloway jumped into the race. Riser created a stir when he announced his intention to seek Alexander’s seat and put up a campaign web site within a day of Alexander’s resignation. Holloway, who served three terms in Congress from 1987-1993, said that he entered the race because he thought that Governor Jindal and Alexander maneuvered to try to tilt the election in Riser’s favor. Holloway was the first Republican in the 20th century to represent North Louisiana in Congress. Holloway ran for Governor in 1991 and for Lt. Governor in 2003. This will be his 12th time on the ballot for a Congressional seat as Louisiana has redistricted and lost seat in Congress. Holloway lost in the 2002 Congressional primary that was eventually won by Alexander. He has been on the PSC since 2009.

Other Republican qualifiers are Monroe State Rep. “Jay” Morris, Vance M. McAllister also of Monroe, and Philip “Blake” Weatherly of Calhoun.

Three Democratic elected officials qualified: Monroe Mayor James “Jamie” Mayo and a pair of State Reps, Marcus Hunter from Monroe and Robert Johnson from Marksville. Weldon Russell from Amite also qualified as a Democrat.

Two Libertarians, Henry Herford of Delhi and S.B.A. Zaitoon of Baton Rouge qualified. Herford, was formerly a Republican and a member of the State Central Committee.

The “Other Party” qualifiers are “Tom” Gibbs from Fairbanks and Peter Williams from Lettsworth.

Eliot S. Barron from New Orleans is the Green Party candidate.

The 5th Congressional District extends from Northeast Louisiana through Central Louisiana and along the Mississippi border. All or part of 24 parishes are included in the District.