It's somewhat of a minor race in the grand scheme of things - Louisiana's 6th Congressional District is a red district in a red state. It's being given up by Bill Cassidy, who is running for the Senate seat currently held by Mary Landrieu. As a result, a myriad of candidates have jumped into the race, including former Democratic governor (and ex-convict) Edwin Edwards. Edwards has the highest name ID of anyone in that particular race, and in many areas, is popular.
Of the multiple Republican candidates, a few have great platforms. One is a former LSU football player with proposals on education reform, which is indeed something the next president and the Congress he'll be working with should be prepared to deal with. Another is retired military. Still more are lawyers and other professionals that fit the idea of a good politician. The one that stands out most, however, is Paul Dietzel.
The idea of someone in my age group (he's two years older than me, and just a couple years past the minimum age to run for Congress) running for a federal office sets me on edge. Youth and ambition scare the living hell out of me. Power is easy to be tainted by, and the younger you are, I believe you have susceptibilities to the wrong influences. So, I was hesitant to really toss a lot of support his way. In speaking with him, however, there is something that can set a paranoid like me at ease. There's a level of charisma there, an intelligent business mind, and there are appropriate appeals to the many ideological roads within the conservative movement.
Most importantly, there is reverence to and yet an appropriate lack of fear in taking on the difficult challenges ahead. Edwards made a crack at his announcement that gave away the game. He said he'd been asked about age playing into the race, and assured supporters he would not use his opponents "youth and inexperience against them." Edwards would not be running if he didn't have internal polling saying he had a shot, and I am willing to bet that internal polling had Dietzel ranking among the highest of his opponents.
Most importantly, a surge of popularity among Democrats in this race could bring more of their voters to the polls in this election, something that would directly benefit Mary Landrieu's bid for the Senate, and I wouldn't be surprised if she were going to funnel money and support his way just as the Louisiana rumor mill suggests she might do for two black potential Congressional candidates in the northern part of the state. It's all an effort to ultimately support her campaign.
I hope you voters in Louisiana's 6th Congressional District will make Paul Dietzel your choice, and put that seat into good Republican hands.