Republicans Anticipate the End of an Era

Sep 28, 2017

Don’t be surprised to hear Louisiana Republican Party insiders singing along cheerfully with REM’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”, as they look ahead to the 2019 statewide elections.

“Huey started it, and Edwin Edwards continued it: a chicken in every pot, a car in every drive, “Every Man A King” – the welfare mentality in Louisiana, and we haven’t kicked that habit since. Their time is ending.”

Former state senator Dan Richey, a member of the state’s GOP Central Committee, told East Baton Rouge Republican Party members the end of the 90-year Huey Long legacy is in sight.

“The last vestige of the governors with Huey Long was Edwin Edwards. The last vestige of Edwin Edwards in a leadership role is John Alario.”

And Senate President John Alario is now term-limited.

“2020 there’ll be no sign of any leadership position that was connected to Edwin Edwards,” Richey stated.

Richey, who served one term in the Louisiana House and another in the Senate from 1976 to 1984, now does political consulting for candidates and groups like the Louisiana Family Forum. Asked whether he thinks Alario might move back to the House, he said, “I really doubt that he will. Going from Senate President to just a member of the House is a tough proposition.”

Sixteen Senate members and 30 House members are term-limited in 2019, and Richey says there’s a lot already going on to prepare Republican candidates for those seats.

“Any number of things are happening behind the scenes to raise money for all the groups: PACs, businesses, industry, so forth, so on, for those term-limited seats in 2019.”

And with the national census in 2020, the next term’s legislators will get to influence who gets to vote for whom for the decade that follows.

“You know, redistricting is coming along for this next cycle,” Richey said, with a grin.