The race in state House District 8 has been rather low-key so far.  Four candidates are seeking to replace Mike Johnson, who was elected to Congress.

The special election is set for Saturday, March 25 with the runoff, if needed, scheduled for Saturday, April 29.

The candidates are Raymond Crews, a Republican from Bossier City; Robert “Robbie” Gatti, a Republican from Bossier City; Patrick Harrington, a Republican from Benton; and Michael “Duke” Lowrie, a Republican  from Bossier City.

Campaign finance reports have been filed with the Louisiana Ethics Commission.  The 30-day prior to primary reports include financial activity through Feb. 13.  Here are the reports:

  • Robbie Gatti

Funds on Hand at Beginning – $0.

Total Receipts – $98,984 of which $51,284 was a personal loan to his committee.

Total Expenditures – $28,237.

Funds on Hand as of Feb. 13 – $65,747.

  • Raymond Crews

Funds on Hand at Beginning – $0.

Total Receipts – $41724.

Total Expenditures – $ 18,762.

Funds on Hand as of Feb. 13 – $22,848.

  • Duke Lowrie

Funds on Hand at Beginning – $0.

Total Receipts – $16,447.

Total Expenditures – $12,587.

Funds on Hand as of Feb. 13 – $3,859.

  • Patrick Harrington

Funds on Hand at Beginning – $0.

Total Receipts – $4,825 of which $450 was a personal loan to his committee.

Total Expenditures – $1,890.

Funds on Hand as of Feb. 13 – $2,935.

Edwards in D.C. – again

Gov. John Bel Edwards was in Washington, D.C. this past weekend looking for money.  He planned to discuss flood and tornado recovery with the president and some of his cabinet members.

The Democratic governor will be making his way through a phalanx of Republicans who control the purse strings.  Edwards was in Washington to attend the winter meeting of the National Governors Association, but is using that opportunity to meet with the new administration.

Included will be a meeting with President Donald Trump where he will seek the president’s help in obtaining more federal funding for the state.  Edwards  is also expected to meet with FEMA Administrator Robert Fenton about flood and tornado recovery money as well.

Secretary Tom Price of the Department of Health and Human Services is also on Edwards’ itinerary.  The governor’s office said he plans to stress the effects of Medicaid expansion in Louisiana.  More than 400,000 people have enrolled in the expanded health care program since expansion went into effect July 1, under an executive order Edwards signed.

Edwards was also expected to meet with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and the new Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney to discuss the state’s response to last year’s floods.

Louisiana has been granted nearly $1.7 billion  from the federal government to aid the recovery so far.  Edwards is asking for $2 billion more.  That may be a hard sell with the new administration.

Edwards will also participate in his first meeting of the Council of Governors, an appointment made by  then-President Barack Obama last year.  It is a bipartisan body created to help coordinate state and federal efforts regarding the National Guard, homeland defense, and defense support to civil suthorities.

Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.