Landrieu declines to endorse Edwards in congressional race _lowres

Advocate staff photo by WILL SENTELL -- U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who is seeking her fourth term, criticized U. S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, for declining to agree to more than two televised debates before the Nov. 4 election. Landrieu on Monday en dorsed 2nd District U. S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, a fellow Democrat but declined to endorse former Gov. Edwin Edwards, a Democrat who is trying to succeed Cassidy in the 6th Congressional District.

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu declined to endorse former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ bid for the 6th District but praised the energy she said he is putting into the congressional contest.

“He has said he is running his campaign and I am running mine,” Landrieu told reporters.

“I think he has been very energetic, and I think he should get a good vote,” she added.

Asked if that means she backs Edwards’ candidacy Landrieu said, “That means I am running my own race and he is running his own race.

“But I can promise you, I have seen him out crisscrossing this district,” she said. “He is working hard.”

Edwards, 87, served nearly a decade in federal prison after being convicted in an extortion and bribery scheme to rig riverboat casino licenses.

He was released in 2011.

Landrieu, who, like Edwards, is a Democrat, made her comments during a press conference in which she heaped praise on 2nd District U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, who also is running for re-election.

In response to questions, she reiterated her support for Democrat Jamie Mayo, the mayor of Monroe who is trying to replace 5th District U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, a Republican.

“Yes, I have endorsed Mayor Mayo and have been campaigning with him on several occasions.

“I think he has got an excellent chance to win that district. Jamie has been a really phenomenal mayor of Monroe. Each year in the term he has served, he left a surplus, ended deficit spending and has a surplus and has really brought that community together. And I was glad to support him in his first run for mayor and have supported him ever since and will support him for the congressional seat.”

Mayo last year finished third in the race for the then-vacant 5th Congressional District seat.

Other Democrats on hand endorsed Landrieu and Richmond, including Senate President Pro Tem Sharon Broome and state Reps. Ted James and Regina Barrow, all three of Baton Rouge, Baker Mayor Harold Rideau and Denham Springs Mayor Jimmy Durbin.

On another issue, Landrieu laughed off a question about her role on Saturday at an LSU tailgate site where she briefly held a beer spigot for a thirsty beer lover.

“They need to get a sense of a humor, and they need to get a life,” she said of GOP critics.

“It’s just the way we roll. The gentleman that did that is 28 years old and he has also graduated. He has a master’s in business. So I think he can make a decision for himself what he’d like to do.

“I thought I did pretty well by not doing it myself and just helping him,” Landrieu said with a laugh.

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