A new political action committee called Gumbo PAC has launched with the expressed purpose of targeting U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s bid to become the next governor of Louisiana.
“It’s a story of a man who went to Washington promising to change it but instead became it,” the Gumbo PAC video narrator begins.
Nearly half of the video focuses on footage of TV reports on Vitter’s ties to the infamous DC madam and claims made by a former New Orleans prostitute. Nearly eight years ago, Vitter admitted to a “serious sin” after his phone number appeared among the records of the madam’s high-priced prostitution service. The New Orleans prostitute, in interviews, alleged she had frequent trysts with Vitter. The Gumbo PAC video calls Vitter “an embarrassment to the people of Louisiana.”
“Just imagine the things you haven’t heard about … yet,” it concludes.
Baton Rouge-based political consultant Trey Ourso confirmed to The Advocate on Tuesday that he is the chairman of Gumbo PAC. Ourso is a former executive director of the state Democratic Party.
He said the group is a non-partisan effort to bring voters information on Vitter’s background.
“He’s been in office along time so he’s built quite a record for himself,” Ourso said. “A lot of people concerned about potential of him being governor, but he really hasn’t been put in a position to account for his record.”
Vitter faces Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards in the Oct. 24 election. A runoff will be held Nov. 21 if no candidate takes more than 50 percent of the vote.
Recent polls have showed Vitter in the lead, but not with enough support to avoid a runoff.
Ourso noted Vitter’s front-runner status, leading the pack in fundraising and name recognition so far.
“I really want people to understand that it’s not parisian and not affiliated with any of the candidates,” Ourso said. “The message is going to be based in fact and on Sen. Vitter’s record.”
Ourso declined to comment on the PAC’s strategy moving forward, but said that it plans to use several platforms to bring its message to voters.
“Today’s just day one,” he said.
Vitter’s campaign has been asked to comment on Gumbo PAC. This post will be updated with any response.