Louisiana Sec. of State and Attorney General races draw no Democratic contenders
September 9, 2011
By David Godow
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana:
As candidate filing in Louisiana's 2011 statewide elections drew to a close on Wednesday, it became clear that the races for Louisiana Secretary of State and Attorney General will be a Republican party this fall. Both Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and Secretary of State Tom Schedler picked up only one Republican opponent this season.
- Incumbent Tom Schedler is seeking re-election to a full four year term after being appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal to replace Jay Dardenne in 2010.
- Speaker of the Louisiana House Jim Tucker formally declared his candidacy on August 8, 2011, capping off weeks of speculation.
- Former Louisiana U.S. Representative Anh "Joseph" Cao announced on April 12, 2011 that he would challenge incumbent Buddy Caldwell.
- Incumbent James D. "Buddy" Caldwell, who made waves in February 2011 by switching parties from Democrat to Republican, has indicated he will run for re-election.
The main surprise of this week's 3-day qualifying period was the absence of New Orleans attorney and 2010 Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Caroline Fayard, who was expected to challenge Schedler in the race for secretary of state. Fayard's campaign, which she announced on May 4, was hamstrung by comments she made during a March Democratic fundraiser, where she quoted as saying "I hate Republicans," whom she also allegedly called "cruel and destructive." She also drew criticism among conservatives for her links to Bill and Hillary Clinton and other liberal Democratic Party luminaries. Fayard announced in July she was considering whether to continue her campaign or not; her absence from candidate qualifying this week is as clear a statement of her decision as any. Regardless, the race for Louisiana Secretary of State will feature incumbent Republican Schedler, who has yet to win an election to his position after being appointed in 2010, against veteran GOP lawmaker and Speaker of the state House Jim Tucker, as challenging an opponent as Schedler could have expected this election season.
In the race for attorney general, Republican challenger Cao may have a hard time unseating popular incumbent Buddy Caldwell, who quietly switched his allegiance from the Democratic to the Republican Party last year. Cao, like Fayard, has been dogged by questions about his conservative principles; as a member of the U.S. House representing a strongly Democratic, majority black district in northeast Louisiana, he was the lone GOP congressman to support for President Barack Obama's health care reform bill in an early 2009 vote. Though Cao opposed the final version of the bill before its passage, his initial decision cost him considerable political capital in conservative Louisiana. Cao justified his choice on the grounds that he was bound to support the will of his constituents, who largely supported the President's proposal.
- Louisiana attorney general election, 2011
- Louisiana secretary of state election, 2011
- Louisiana state executive official elections, 2011
- The Times-Picayune, "New Secretary of State Tom Schedler hits stride in Baton Rouge: Ron Thibodeaux," January 16, 2011
- BayouBuzz.com, "Jim Tucker To Announce Louisiana Secretary of State Run Today," August 8, 2011 (dead link)
- The Times-Picayune, "Ex-Congressman Anh 'Joseph' Cao plans run for state attorney general," April 12, 2011
- Buddy Caldwell for Attorney General, "Home," accessed June 30, 2011