Eyes on BC council seats for April elections
There is not much area-wide on the April 6 election ballot. Therefore, all eyes are on two city council races in Bossier City where two incumbents have opponents.
In District 1, incumbent Republican Scott Irwin is being challenged by Republican Mike Beam, a retired Bossier City police officer and owner of Beam’s Restaurant.
In District 5, a last minute qualifier gave the race a new twist. Everyone expected an instant replay of the special election of 2011 where Larry Hanisee defeated Tommy Harvey by two votes.
Enter Mischa Angel, a Bossier City real estate executive. She is attempting to break the all-male hold on the city council. It’s been 12 years since the council has had a female member.
In 1997, Coy Cooper won a council-at-large seat and Faye Rawls was elected in District 1. However, both lost their re-election bids in 2001.
While there will be an outright winner in the primary in District 1, most politicos believe that there will be a runoff in District 5. Should that be the case, that election will be held on May 4.
President Clinton? Hillary, that is...
While several prominent Republicans fantasize about being the party’s nominee for president in 2016, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, many Democrats believe they already have their candidate.
It’s Hillary Clinton, former First Lady of Arkansas and the U.S., former U.S. Senator, and former Secretary of State, hailed as the most admired woman in the world for 11 straight years.
And they believe she can be another trailblazer for the party – becoming the first female president – following in the footsteps of President Barack Obama, who became America’s first black president.
Yes, Vice President Joe Biden has made no bones about wanting to run for president. And New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also being mentioned as a potential candidate.
But here’s the deal. In a Quinnipiac poll out last week, Hillary Clinton defeats all 2016 potential GOP opponents in hypothetical match-ups.
The poll tested Democrats Clinton, Biden, and Cuomo individually against the following potential GOP nominees – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who ran as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick in 2012 against President Obama.
Clinton beats Christie 45-37%, Ryan 50-38%, and Rubio 50-34%.
Interestingly, Christie, who runs the strongest against Clinton, is being snubbed by conservative Republicans, notably by not being invited to the big conservative lovefest, the CPAC confab.
Biden, meanwhile, loses narrowly to Christie 43-40%, but defeats Rubio 45-38%, and Ryan 45-42%.
Cuomo didn’t not fare very well against the GOP potential contenders. He loses to Christie 45-28%, loses to Ryan 42-37%, and ties with Rubio 37-37%.
Of course, it is still early and these are just hypothetical match-ups. If Clinton decides to enter the fray, fodder is there for the Republicans to erode her current favorability rating of 56%.
During the spirited Democratic primary in 2008, for example, Clinton’s favorability rating was just 37%. But a stellar performance as secretary of state has helped to rehabilitate her image.
She has not given any indication that she will be a candidate for president in 2016. Most political observers believe it will depend at the time upon her health after a recent crisis – and Bill’s frightening heart problems.
In 2016, Hillary will be 69 years old. Bill will be 70. So age will likely be a factor as well.
Two potential opponents for Louisiana Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, who will be seeking a fourth six-year term in 2014, have had second thoughts.
U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, and Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, announced they will run again for their U.S. House seats and not for the U.S. Senate.
That fits in nicely with the state and national Republican Party’s efforts to pare down the number of potential candidates who want to run against Landrieu. They would prefer only one GOP standard bearer in the race.
Still standing as potential opponents for Landrieu are U.S. Reps. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, John Fleming, R-Minden, and former U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia.
Of course, there’s Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who fared the best in recent polling against Landrieu, but most political observers believe Dardenne has his sights set instead on the governor’s mansion.
All three potential Republican opponents – Cassidy, Fleming, and Landry say it is still too early to make an official declaration.
Cassidy has raised a lot of money and has been voting with the conservative wing of the Republican Party in the U.S. House. Recently, he voted against the Violence Against Women Act., which drew GOP support and passed both houses of Congress.
Fleming, a physician who is regarded as the most conservative member of the Louisiana U.S. House delegation, also voted against the act.
In the end, the Republican Party will likely unite behind one candidate, forcing others to step aside. Most politicos believe that Cassidy will be the chosen one – if he decides he wants to take on Landrieu, who is doing extremely well in recent polls.
If the GOP can pull this off, then it will be up to the Democratic Party to keep other Democrats out of the race, especially a black candidate, who would take valuable votes away from Landrieu.
No guessing about Nungesser
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser doesn’t want to leave anyone guessing about whether he will make a second run for lieutenant governor in 2015.
He has already officially announced and is holding fundraisers to build up his campaign warchest.
Nungesser, a Republican, lost to Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne in 2011 by nearly 60,000 votes, 53 to 47%.
But the parish president, who became a frequent face on national television after the Gulf oil spill, says it will be a different ball game this time because Dardenne will be running for another office, thereby making the lieutenant governor’s race an open seat.
But one can bet that it will not be an easy walk in the political park for Nungesser. In 2011, five Republicans and three Democrats sought the state’s number two job.
Therefore, with the position being open, it is likely the lieutenant governor’s race will draw a slew of candidates in 2015 – both Republicans and Democrats.
Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.