Shake-up on tap in 4th
Will a viable, well-financed Democrat enter the U.S. House 4th District race where five Republicans are declared candidates? Democrats are hoping so.
Informed sources tell the Fax-Net that Shreveport attorney-businessman Marshall Jones is close to saying yes about entering the race. His entry would certainly change the dynamics in what so far has been an attraction for GOP candidates.
Democratic leaders believe the timing is right for a conservative Democrat to capture the 4th District seat, which has been in Republican hands since 1988. Buddy Roemer held the seat as a Democrat.
When he was elected governor, Republican Jim McCrery won the seat and held onto it for 20 years. In 2008, Republican John Fleming continued the GOP dominance in the 4th District. He is giving up the seat to run for the U.S. Senate.
Sources say that should Jones enter the race he will do so as a conservative Democrat who is pro-life, pro-gun, pro-military, and pro-business. His background is that of a business lawyer for 37 years as well as an oil and gas operator and a farmer.
A lifelong resident of Caddo Parish, Jones is a graduate of Byrd High School, got an accounting degree at SMU and a law degree at LSU.
Jones said that he is encouraged by the number of people who read about him in Fax-Net and are urging him to enter the race. He will have a decision soon.
Democratic leaders contend that Jones would be a shoo-in to make the runoff against one of the five GOP candidates. The demographics of the 4th District have changed over the past two reapportionment cycles. It was once considered a very conservative district and safe for a Republican candidate. No longer.
In 2008, Fleming defeated Democrat Paul Carmouche, former Caddo District Attorney, by only 350 votes out of 92,572 cast. And Carmouche would have likely won if the runoff had been held at the same time as the presidential election when Barack Obama was on the ballot drawing a heavy black turnout.
However, the congressional races in 2008 were held under the party primary system rather than an open primary format. The primary elections were to be held on September 6, but were rescheduled for October 3 because of Hurricane Gustav, therefore the party runoffs did not take place until November 4, the date of the presidential elections.
That resulted in the 4th District’s general election being held on December 6. The state has since gone back to the open primary system.
It appears Democrats are hoping that the political pendulum is ready to swing to the left giving them the opportunity make a comeback in the state, which once was true-blue but has become blood-red.
Republicans occupy every statewide office and control both houses of the Louisiana Legislature as well as many local governmental entities.
Interesting twist in Deen case
Federal prosecutors plan to go ahead with the trial of former Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Deen on August 15 despite a bizarre occurrence related to the case. A key prosecution witness, Mary Jean McBroome, 60, of Shreveport was found dead in her vehicle of a gunshot wound several days ago.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating and has said her death is “suspicious.” McBroome was an employee of Blakey Auto Plex The two owners, Clifton and Clinton Blakey, are on trial along with Deen.
Deen and the Blakeys were indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit federal program theft, one count of federal program theft, and one count of failure to file IRS Tax Form 8300.
Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.