Louisiana's interim Lt. Governor Scott Angelle has announced that he is changing his party affiliation to Republican.
BATON ROUGE – Lt. Gov. Scott Angelle of Breaux Bridge today dropped his long-time Democratic ties and joined the Republican Party.
Angelle, who will return to his appointed position as secretary of the state Department of Natural Resources when a new lieutenant governor is seated after the Nov. 2 election, announced his decision at a Republican Leadership Summit in Baton Rouge.
Dissatisfaction with the national Democratic Party’s energy policies is a primary reason expressed by the ardent opponent of the moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Excellent coverage of Angelle's remarks to the Republican Leadership Summit at TheHayride.com.
Angelle was originally appointed Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources by former Governor Kathleen Blanco. Gov. Bobby Jindal retained a select few incumbents when he took office, and within a few months Angelle was also serving a key role as the Governor's legislative liaison. When Mitch Landrieu's election as New Orleans mayor left the Lt. Governor seat open, the Governor appointed Angelle to fill in, provided that he not run in the Nov. 2 election to fill out the remainder of the term.
Here's why this is a big deal: Angelle is a popular and well-liked public servant who has led the state (and the oil and gas industry's) fight against the deepwater drilling moratorium and the de facto permitting moratorium. He's an up-and-coming political star with strong pro-life, pro-business and anti-Obama Administration credentials. He will be a candidate for higher office in the future.
You may remember that Scott delighted and entertained a crowd of 11,000 as emcee of July's Rally for Economic Survival with his authentic Cajun stem-winding style:
In the election for a "permanent interim" Lt. Governor, Sec. of State Jay Dardenne (R) faces Caroline Fayard (D), a 32-year old attorney from New Orleans. The Dems have put a lot of chips on the table (plus an endorsement from Bill Clinton) to win this race in an effort to retain some small measure of relevance in statewide races.
The next election for a full four year term will be in 2013.