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LA-04: McCrery Will Retire

by: James L.

Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 9:40 PM EST

And yet another Republican crumb-bum has decided to give it up.  Rep. Jim McCrery (R-LA) has scheduled a press conference tonight with local media to announce his retirement.  GOP sources are telling The Politico that McCrery will retire at the end of the 110th Congress, as opposed to pulling a Trent Lott.  By my count, that brings us to 18 GOP retirements in the House so far.

McCrery's Shreveport-based seat is fairly red at the federal level, having supported Bush by 12 and 19-point margins in 2000 and 2004, respectively.  Still, it's not that much more Republican than Democrat Charlie Melancon's district, which supported Bush by a 17-point spread in '04.

DailyKos diarist FenwaySteve adds some local color:

This announcement should open up a horse race for his replacement.  The most likely Republican successor is Shreveport attorney, former mayoral candidate ('06), and McCrery's attorney Jerry Jones.  If he gets in, which I'm sure he will, I doubt any other viable Repubs will join him.

On the D side, it's really anyone's guess.  I have heard rumors of a handful of current and former state representatives, as well as former two-term Shreveport mayor Keith Hightower, as possible candidates.  And Patti Cox, local party organizer and environmental consultant who ran in '06, is planning to run again.

This is a district that could very easily return to Democratic hands.  It leans Republican (+7) and went strongly in favor of Bush in the last two races (59% in '04).  But the contentious Shreveport mayoral race in 2006 went to the African-American Democrat Cedric Glover by a wider-than-expected margin in a contest that went down to the wire and split the electorate largely along racial lines.  If that was any prediction, turnout could be the deciding factor in this district.

Definitely a race to keep a close eye on as the local parties scramble to find candidates here.

UPDATE: The Associated Press confirms it.  Sounds like being in the minority was too much of a bummer for him.

James L. :: LA-04: McCrery Will Retire
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Isn't this guy the ranking Republican on Ways on Means?

He must be really sure the GOP has no chance of winning back the majority in his lifetime  

Liberty Avenue Politics - a place for politics in Southern Queens

This is an odd retirement.
The only red flag I can think of is that McCrery has been rumored to be gay since forever.  He married his secretary after he was already in Congress, three years after the gay rumors broke (published in the Advocate in 1988).

I'd really really really like to know what's going on behind the scenes with this one and with Trent Lott.  Larry Craig, Jim Kolbe, and Mark Foley are already gone; if we see David Dreier or Lindsay Graham retire, it'll be a sure sign that something is going on.

Come to think of it, there need be no sinister explanation.  Simply watching the GOP caucus react to Mark Foley and especially to Larry Craig could easily be enough to inspire the rest of the Closet Caucus to get out while they still have their dignity in hand.  Once you've seen that your peers are prepared to utterly ostracize you as they did to Craig, then where's the joy in sticking around with them?

28, gay guy, Democrat, CA-08

[ Parent ]
Good good
For a while today I was thinking I was going to go an entire week without seeing a Repub bum say goodbye and goodnight this Holiday season.  

$961,141 on hand as of September 30th, 2007.  Didn't indicate retirement through his fundraising.  Percentage in Last Election: 57% - But that's because there was another Republican running.  
2004-John Kerry: 40%-- George W. Bush: 59%  
2000-Al Gore: 43%----- George W. Bush: 55%

Probably off the radar for the most part.  

This is a district
that Democrats should be able to pick up.  Yes, it did vote for Bush twice, but has a heavily Democratic registration advantage.  Democrats should look to one of their former state reps or Senators in the district who were forced out in 2007 due to term limits.  

This opens a District in the South
The more competitive races in the South, the better.  The South is the region (currently) with the fewest opportunties for team blue to gain seats.  This is great news.    

[ Parent ]
Clinton carried this district
52%-39% in 1996. In 1992, it was very strangley gerrymanders to connect Shreveport to Baton Rouge through black communities along the Mississippi River and Arkansas border and was represented by Cleo Fields.

This year, I believe Foster Campbell did very well in the district in the gubernatorial race and Mitch Landrieu actually won the district.  

Liberty Avenue Politics - a place for politics in Southern Queens

Its a very winnable seat
and is a district that would be helped by Barack Obama being the Democratic nominee, since it is nearly 40% black.  

[ Parent ]
Its also
one of the only districts other than LA-02 where Jindal failed to win a majority of the vote.  

[ Parent ]
Lets win this!
But I think he might pull a Lott. He was going to retire in 04 to join the Democratic lobbyist Senator. I don't even want to remember his name. So if he wants to join B-lobbyist and Lott (who is going to start a firm with B-lobbyist) then he has to resign by Dec 31 like Lott. That would be good I think but I'm no expert.

Let's look at our candidates for this race though.

-former two-term Shreveport mayor Keith Hightower
He's a good high name rec canidate but there are some corruption problems as far as I can see.

-Patti Cox ran last time and is running again. I don't think she's a very strong looking canidate though.

Any names for former state reps or any other canidates that might take a run? I think Hightower would be the front runner. But the DCCC should do a poll to make sure his problems aren't going to hurt him to much.

Some names
One Democrat who would be very stron gin this race would be former state Rep.  T. Taylor Townsend, who represented Natchitoches county.  He was forced out in 2007 due to term limits.  Another is former House speaker Joe Salter who represented Sabine, DeSoto, Red River, and Vernon.  

[ Parent ]
Wasn't he considering challenging McCrery anyway? Would an open seat be a good enough reason for him to jump in?  

Liberty Avenue Politics - a place for politics in Southern Queens

[ Parent ]
Other Names?
I don't think Cox has a shot, and as you note Hightower has issues. And rather see a different nominee

Taylor Townsend and Foster Campbell would seem obvious possibilities. I don't know if Salter would be interested, but perhaps. Think Buddy Leach would want to run again? He held the seat back in the 70s and is still active in state politics. What other names are out there?

[ Parent ]
Tough to gage
if a seriously-funded African-American candidate runs, he'll probably win a primary and lose the general election.

And since there'll be an actual primary, that complicates things.

Granted under an open primary, we got a Holloway/Williams runoff in 1986 with a few moderate Dems left in the dust. So an open primary wouldn't guarantee anything.

But there's still a slight change here.

Excellent news.
I don't care if the Democrats lose this one by 10%. Just make the Republicans spend money there. Spread their cash out and making them fail in more places.  

LA changed its primary election laws for such federal elections
I seem to recall that Louisiana changed its election laws and now does NOT have open primaries for federal elections (Congress and U.S. Senate).  Instead, for those elections only, they revert to the old closed party primary - only registered Rs can vote in the R primary and registered Ds can vote in the D primary. Independents and "no party" voters cannot vote in either primary.  There may still be a runoff primary election if the leader in the first primary fails to reach some threshold - 50% or 40%.  The  general election is then between the winners of the various party primaries and any independents.

For all other LA elections - state and local officials - LA retained the old "open primary" where all candidates appear on same ballot and all voters can vote for any one of them, regardless of party.  If any candidate gets 50% plus one vote, the person is elected.  If no one gets a majority, then there is a runoff between the top two, regardless of party.

A safe incumbent with nearly a million bucks in his war chest.... that's quite amazing.

It makes me wonder if maybe he had been nearing the top of Larry Flynt's list of potential Congressional scandals that Flynt has been threatening to publish. This one is almost as surprising as Jerry Weller.  

Half the population believes our electoral system is broken. The other half believes it is fixed.  

I'm that Weller
retired due to his corrupt deals with warlords in Gautemala.

[ Parent ]

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