14 seek 5th District vacancy
Primary set October 19, runoff November 16

The race is on to fill the vacant Fifth Louisiana Congressional District seat, vacated last month by six-term Congressman Rodney Alexander of Quitman. The special primary is set for October 19, with 14 candidates filed to serve the sprawling District which runs from the Arkansas state line bordering North and Northeast Louisiana, down through Central Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta parishes as far south as portions of East Baton Rouge parish and the Florida Parishes bordering Mississippi--including all of the parishes of Avoyelles, Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Rapides, Richland, Tensas, Washington, West Carroll, West Feliciana, and Winn, plus parts of East Feliciana, St. Helena, St. Landry, and Tangipahoa.

The vacancy also has implications for the 2015 Louisiana Governor's race, with former Congressman Alexander now positioned within the Jindal cabinet as Secretary of Veterans Affairs to use his new office as a springboard to launch a serious candidacy for the Governor's office--a prospect which he has acknowledged as "on the table," in recent statements to state media.

State Senator Neil Riser of Columbia, Caldwell Parish, appears to be the political "insiders" favorite to replace Alexander as Fifth District Congressman. He was obviously prepared, immediately launching a political website, simultaneously with professionally prepared mailers--which are not done overnight, with mail labels attached, and which reached District voters within days of Alexander's resignation announcement. He also received the endorsement of three of the five Republican members of the House of Representatives--Charles Boustany of Lafayette, John Fleming of Minden, and Steve Scalise of Jefferson. Key persons from Alexander's District Congressional staff joined Riser's campaign--giving credibility to political talk that he is "the anointed one." Riser is a Republican, and said he has long had plans to run for Congress if Alexander retired from the office.

Press reports from Baton Rouge state that Alexander has acknowledged he will endorse Riser, and that political consultants connected to Governor Jindal's campaigns are advising Riser.

A total of 14 candidates filed for the primary, scheduled on October 19, including four Democrats, five Republicans, two Libertarians, one Green Party, and two "Other." A runoff, if required, will be held November 16.

Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway of Forest Hill, a former Congressman from the now-non existant Eighth District in North Louisiana, was a late filer, and probably brings a constituency.
The office of Secretary of State Tom Shedler listed candidates as follows:
Eliot Barron, New Orleans, Green Party.
Tom Gibbs, Fairbanks, "Other."
Henry Herford, Jr., Delhi, Libertarian.
Clyde C. Holloway, Forest Hill, Republican.
Marcus Hunter, Monroe, Democrat.
Robert Johnson, Marksville, Democrat.
James Mayo, Monroe, Democrat.
Vance McAlister, Monroe, Republican.
Jay Morris, Monroe, Republican.
Neil Riser, Columbia, Republican.
Weldon Russell, Amite, Democrat.
Philip Blake Weatherly, Calhoun, Republican.
Peter Williams, Lettsworth, "Other."
S.B.A. Zaltoon, Baton Rouge, Libertarian.

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