Hey, Louisiana Republican Party, how’s that uniting-behind-a-single-gubernatorial-candidate thing going?
Not so well, apparently.
Party elders are openly pining for a single candidate, the better to avoid a divisive primary fight and unite votes against Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards. But so far two candidates, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone, have launched campaigns.
And now comes word that a third might join them. Former U.S. Rep. John Fleming, who left Congress following a failed bid for U.S. Senate and joined the Trump administration, says he’s considering a run, according to LAPolitics.com. Fleming, of Minden, has been working as a deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services. Last year President Donald Trump nominated him to be the Commerce Department’s assistant secretary for economic development, but he never got a confirmation vote. His name has now been resubmitted.
A Fleming candidacy could complicate Abraham’s ability to fully capitalize on his regional roots. He represents the northeastern part of the state, while Fleming used to represent the northwestern corner.
Fleming would also be the only GOP candidate to have run a statewide campaign before.
This history, though, is double-edged. In that 2016 Senate race, Fleming got just 11 percent of the primary vote – enough to finish third out of three major Republican candidates.
Today in The Rundown: The latest on how food stamps will be affected by the government shutdown; who's teaming up in the gubernatorial race; a…