Despite Donald Trump’s complaints that Louisiana’s primary process was somehow rigged against him -- not to mention a vague lawsuit threat that quickly evaporated once his forces failed to identify a specific alleged offense -- there seem to be no hard feelings between the all-but-official GOP nominee and the state party.
Traditional Republicans nationwide are still be coming to terms with the unlikely candidate who’ll head their ticket this fall, with some reluctantly embracing the reality and others still bristling. But the people who run Louisiana’s party apparatus appear to be all in.
First the party put out a strong statement of support urging Republicans to unite behind the common cause of defeating Hillary Clinton. The statement was signed by longtime GOP chairman Roger Villere and every Louisiana Republican member of Congress except Garret Graves, who, under direct questioning, has acknowledged that he too would back the party’s nominee.
This week, another move signaled a solidified relationship. Trump and the Republican National Committee announced a joint high-dollar fundraising arrangement, as well as a separate deal with a handful of state parties, Louisiana’s included. Both deals allow for individual contributions of up to $449,400.
The other states on the list include New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which all happen to be home to plenty of wealthy donors even if the state’s voters are expected to choose Clinton in the November general election. The agreement also covers other conservative states like Louisiana, including South Carolina and Mississippi, that are likely in Trump’s column.
Republican leaders who have most to fear from Trump’s divisive candidacy, though, hail from swing states where his presence might alienate enough voters to damage even down-ballot candidates. Party leaders in just one of those closely balanced states, Virginia, signed on as part of this particular deal.
‘Grace notes’ is a daily feature by Advocate columnist Stephanie Grace. To read more of her content, including her full columns, click here.