Huey Long must be turning over in his grave. Qualifying closed today for Louisiana's Fall 2011 statewide elections, and the once super-dominant Democratic Party has failed to field a single credible candidate for statewide office.
Louisiana's citizens have common sense. They understand that the policies favored by Washington Dems (on energy in particular) seem expressly designed to cripple Louisiana's economy and kill Louisiana's best jobs. They realize that there's no real national role to play for a pro-life Democrat.
Just recently, Democratic registration fell below 50% for the first time in, well, ever.
Governor - Bobby Jindal will run against a field of nine opponents: four independents, four Democrats and one Libertarian. Two of the Dems are schoolteachers, and one of those is a self-described "Tea Party Democrat" who will try to outflank Jindal on the right.
Other than Jindal, the Governor's race features a field of political neophytes and perennial also-rans. None of the challengers currently holds elective office. John Georges, who finished #3 in the 2007 Governor's race, has decided to take his $10 million & go home rather than run again.
In other races:
Lieutenant Governor - Incumbent Jay Dardenne (R, elected last year in a special election) will face the challenge of Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser (R), who garnered plenty of press coverage during last year's BP oil spill.
Dem Caroline Fayard declined to run for any office after mounting a well-funded effort against Dardenne in last year's special election.
Attorney General - Incumbent Buddy Caldwell (R, a recent party switcher) will be challenged by former U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao (R), who was defeated for reelection last November. Cao plans to make a case of Caldwell's handling of the State's claim against BP. Caldwell, you may remember, filed suit agasint Obamacare as a Democratic AG, while Cao was the sole House Republican to vote for Obamacare.
State Treasurer - John Kennedy (R) will be unopposed.
Secretary of State - John Schedler (R) drew a single opponent, House Speaker Jim Guy Tucker (R).
Insurance Commissioner - Incumbent Jim Donelon (R) gained a last-minute opponent in Donald Hodge (D), a political newcomer.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry - Mike Strain (R) drew two opponents, a Reform Party candidate and a novice Democrat.
U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu remains the only statewide elected Democrat. Rep. Cedric Richmond, the New Orleans freshman, is the only Dem in the House delegation.
Defections have caused the power balances in both state legislatives bodies to flip to R.
And the state's most popular and recognizable Democratic politician is 80 year-old four-term Governor Edwin Edwards, recently released from Federal prison after serving eight years of a ten year sentence for racketeering.
Cross-posted at stevemaley.com.