They’re off, officially, with qualifying for the fall elections completed.
And it is a strikingly less-than-heated election season, particularly because the marquee race for governor did not attract a well-funded challenger to Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Even in 1975, popular Gov. Edwin W. Edwards faced two significant challengers. In 1999, a sitting member of Congress challenged popular Gov. Mike Foster. The challengers lost, but at least the incumbents got a challenge.
This year, the governor faces other candidates with little money or statewide organization. While we would hope that the challengers can raise issues about the future of the state, the prospects for Jindal are pretty good.
The governor has pledged to campaign vigorously and not take the election for granted.
That’s fine, but if the governor does not have to take much time to defend his record from nominal challengers, he continues to have a responsibility to show voters what his plans are for advancing the state in the four years ahead.
We look forward to that discussion.
In the meantime political junkies will have to look down the ballot for interesting battles.
For three statewide offices, there are going to be heated races between Republicans. This is a far cry from a generation ago, when only Democrats and a rare Republican typically competed for statewide offices.
For lieutenant governor, incumbent Jay Dardenne, of Baton Rouge, faces Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish. For secretary of state, incumbent Tom Schedler, of Mandeville, faces Jim Tucker, the speaker of the House. Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao challenges Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. All are Republicans.
If those are to be hotly contested by the major candidates, there are also significant races for House and Senate, as well as sheriffs and other local offices in the Oct. 22 primary.
Qualifying wrapped up as the nation marked the 10th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. If there is any better reminder that America requires of its citizens the responsibility to be involved in government, we can’t think of it.
We urge Louisianians to be active in this fall’s political debate, and in the election ahead.