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LA GOP Picks an Early Favorite

Sue Lincoln

The Louisiana Republican Party is endorsing former Congressman, Jeff Landry, for Attorney General. 

Landry says, so has his son, JT.   "Dear people of Louisiana," Landry reads from his son's letter, "my dad is running for AG. He asks for one thing and one thing only, that you vote for me, vote for my dad. I promise he’ll be a good AG. He’s loyal and respects this state." 

There's one thing that's different about this situation: qualifying isn’t until September. It's still early for endorsements, and it’s expected that the incumbent, also a Republican, will run in the same election. LA GOP chairman, Roger Villere, doesn't mention Buddy Caldwell. Highlighting the support the LA GOP is giving, Villere emphasizes that "Jeff is the Republican in the race." 

Reporters peppered Villere with questions.

Does this mean that Caldwell isn’t running? "We consider Jeff to be a more qualified candidate. We support him. We just felt like Jeff was the better candidate," Villere responds.

What are the objections to Caldwell? "We just think that Jeff has the leadership qualities and capabilities to do a better job," he answers.

Landry’s from south Louisiana. Caldwell’s from north Louisiana. Does that explain it? Not in any way, replies Villere, "we have a lot of members from north Louisiana that endorsed Jeff."

When Caldwell was first elected Attorney General in 2007, he was a Democrat. Could it be they don’t trust Caldwell’s conversion from a Democrat to a Republican? Do they consider him a "RINO", a Republican in Name Only? "I’m not saying Buddy’s a 'RINO' or not," he says. Again, he reiterates, "we feel really comfortable that Jeff is the most conservative and we feel comfortable endorsing him as our Republican nominee."

So what’s the real reason the LA GOP is doing this now? "You’d have to ask the members of the executive committee, of the central committee," Villere says.