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« Baker To Leave Congress | Blog Home Page | Gregoire Finally Up Big »

Jindal Opens Another LA Special

The day before news broke about the ensuing retirement of Louisiana Congressman Richard Baker, Republican Bobby Jindal was inaugurated as Louisiana governor -- the first Indian-American governor in U.S. history. His elevation to the highest level of Louisiana state government leaves his 1st Congressional District seat vacant.

This heavily-Republican district, which encompasses part of the New Orleans metropolitan area, voted 71% for President Bush in 2004, and Jindal was not seriously challenged by a Democrat in either of his two congressional election victories.

The Monroe News Star reports that Republican State Senator Steve Scalise already has a $100,000 campaign account he opened years earlier when first considering a run for the seat. That should give him the early fundraising edge over the other Republicans who have announced their bids for the seat, including former Governor Dave Treen, Slidell Mayor Ben Morris, Jefferson Parish Councilor John Young and State Representative Tim Burns. One Democrat, University of New Orleans professor Gilda Reed, has been actively campaigning for the past year.

In October, Jindal defeated a large field of candidates in the election for governor with 54% of the vote. Since then, special election dates were set to fill the 1st District seat for the remainder of his term. A primary will be held March 8; a runoff will be held April 5, if necessary, followed by a May 3 special general election. If no runoff is necessary, the general will instead be held April 5.

-- Kyle Trygstad

Updated: Morris, the mayor of Slidell, released a poll today conducted for his campaign by Market Research Insight. The survey, conducted 1/8-9, contacted 300 likely Republican voters for a margin of error of +/- 6%. Morris, Burns, Scalise and Young were tested.

General Election Matchup
Scalise 27
Morris 22
Young 12
Burns 6

Notice a name missing? The pollster did not include Treen, a former governor, leaving some to speculate that other candidates don't seriously expect him to compete. Then again, they might also leave him out because they don't want to be seen trailing by fifty points to someone who vastly out-performs them.

Morris is not the only one to omit the governor. Scalise, in a Public Opinion Strategies poll out last week that showed him with a 7-point lead over Morris, also left Treen of the list.

-- Reid Wilson