Just Two Candidates for Louisiana's 5th Congressional District
"It goes from the top of the state, almost all the way to Baton Rouge, all the way over to Opelousas," says Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham in an interview with C-SPAN.
Abraham, a Republican from Mangham, Louisiana, currently represents the 5th district in the United States House of Representatives. He was first elected to Congress in 2014.
Made up of twenty-four parishes, Louisiana’s 5th district is the largest, covering the most ground in the state. Monroe and Alexandria are its two biggest cities.
“We grow more corn, soybeans, use to grow a lot of cotton than anywhere else in the nation," says Abraham, describing those in the 5th district as "good country people, conservative, down to earth.”
Abraham is a practicing physician and former veterinarian running on a platform for small government.
“Government has outgrown the people. When you get an organization or a bureaucracy as big as we have now, then it has to feed itself, and when it does that, it stops feeding the people. And that’s what concerns me is that we are a government that is no longer looking out for its people," he says, "it’s looking out for itself.”
Billy Burkette, also a Republican, is Abraham’s only opponent in the November 8th election. He comes to his first campaign with a background in insurance and law enforcement.
“I am Chairman of the tribe for the Louisiana Band of Choctaw," says Burkette, who also serves as the tribe's Chief of Police.
Burkette says he not only will represent that community, but the rest of the district as well. Something he thinks Abraham hasn’t done enough of.
“I don’t believe that he has adequately visited with the real people in the area. I believe that the boots on the ground, what I call day-to-day citizens, are not represented in the fashion that they need to be represented,” he explains.