Louisiana’s six congressional races feature four incumbents and two open seats, as Congressman Charles Boustany and Congressman John Fleming are running for the U.S. Senate instead. Altogether, there are 39 candidates in the six congressional races. Over the next several weeks, we’ll look at each of those contests, starting today, with the 1st Congressional District.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to go and state my case before the people of southeast Louisiana,” Republican incumbent Steve Scalise said, right after qualifying last week.
He’s not worried about facing six challengers.
“My position as House Majority Whip helps people in south Louisiana,” said the third-highest ranking Republican in the U.S. House.
As the Whip, he’s the party’s “enforcer”, keeping GOP congressmen in line.
“To stand up for our conservative values,and a lot of those values are under attack,” Scalise explained. “We’ve been working to get all of these radical federal agencies, like the EPA and the IRS and the NLRB, off the backs of our small businesses.”
Three Democrats are looking to unseat him, including doctoral student Danil Ezekiel Faust, and psychiatrist Joe Swider, both from New Orleans. The third Democrat, Lee Ann Dugas of Kenner, ran in this same race in 2014, getting 9% of the vote.
“I’m a disabled Desert Storm veteran,” Dugas said. She further describes herself as a “proud lesbian”.
New Orleans realtor Eliot Barron, the Green Party candidate, also ran in 2014, in the 5th District. He only earned 1% of the vote then.
The Libertarian is Mandeville businessman Howard Kearney. And running as an independent is Chuemai Yang, a Kenner optometrist.
None of the challengers have filed campaign finance reports yet, but incumbent Scalise has more than a million dollars on hand, according to his July report.
“I’ll run a spirited campaign, no matter who runs,” Scalise promises.