Political season kicks off
On the day before qualifying began for this fall's political races, Democratic consultant Michael Beychok said Mayor Kip Holden's reelection looks like a slam dunk.
“The reality is, he's really strong,” he said. “It would be a surprise to me if he is not reelected overwhelmingly.”
Not so fast, countered Republican consultant Pat Bergeron, who says he's seen Holden's approval rating among whites drop precipitously in recent weeks, apparently because of crime concerns. He says donors who might have been waiting for a champion to take on the mayor are starting to coalesce around Metro Councilman Mike Walker as their best [and likely only] hope.
“I would say Walker is the favorite at this point,” he says. “I think the momentum has changed,” although Holden has time to “stop the bleeding.”
Beychok says Holden seems to have won the public relations battle with the Metro Council over “who's impeding who.” But despite the council's unpopularity, there doesn't seem to be a huge movement to change its makeup, which Beychok says is similar to public sentiment about Congress: People may hate the body, but they tend to like their own representative.
Speaking of Congress, the duel between establishment Republican Charles Boustany and Tea Party favorite Jeff Landry, incumbents fighting over the redrawn District 3, will be closely watched by politicos. The race for the Louisiana Supreme Court seat being vacated by Chief Justice Kitty Kimball also will be hotly contested.
Scott Angelle, a top Jindal lieutenant and until recently head of the Department of Natural Resources, appears to be the heavy favorite for the Public Service Commission over Baton Rouge Republican state Rep. Erich Ponti and Republican businessman Ed Roy of Lafayette. Bergeron says Angelle's name recognition probably is higher than both of his opponents' combined.
Qualifying was ongoing as this issue went to press, so game-changing surprises still were possible.
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