Treasurer Hopefuls Campaigning for Endorsements

Sep 5, 2017

With Labor Day behind us, campaigning for the October 14th state Treasurer’s race should finally ramp up, though it’s been decidedly ho-hum so far.

U-L Monroe Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says there’s a good reason for that.

“It’s a state Treasurer’s race! The state Treasurer, for all intents and purposes manages the state’s funds in the state account. That’s a bureaucratic job: that is not a political job. It is not a partisan job. It’s not a headline-grabbing job.”

And, he says, there aren’t many hot-button issues the candidates can latch onto.

“Your position on abortion, your position on Trump, and proving that you’re the most conservative candidate in the field doesn’t typically work in a race like this. Those issues don’t have anything to do with the office.”

Up till now, the three best-known Republican candidates – Angele Davis, Neil Riser and John Schroder – have been working to garner endorsements, from parish party committees, and – in the case of Davis – law and order groups. Stockley says that’s a relatively inexpensive way for each of them to solidify their expected voter base.

“Turnout’s going to be very low in this race, so those who are most likely to vote are already going to be highly-motivated partisans. So you’re reaching out to those you think are going to be most likely to vote.”

But, Stockley says, in this age of internet and social media campaigning, endorsements are often overstated, and over-rated.

“Rarely are they in and of themselves the reason an individual will vote for somebody.”

However, members of the groups that do endorse also often make campaign contributions, and in a statewide race, he says, “The money’s more important than the endorsement.”

And with campaign finance reports due the end of next week, we'll soon know if -- and for whom -- the strategy has paid off.