| It's sweet enough that Rep. Rodney Alexander, a former Democrat who cowardly defected to the House GOP just before the filing deadline in 2004, is currently languishing in the ranks of the Indefinite Minority Party, but now the DCCC is making moves to recruit a challenger to take his turncoat hide on this fall.
In the diaries, TXObserver has the scoop from the Alexandria News Star:
State Rep. Rick Gallot said Thursday that he will wait until after the current legislative session to decide whether to challenge incumbent 5th District U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander in the fall election.
Gallot, D-Ruston, is being recruited to run against the three-term Republican congressman by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
"I'm certainly flattered to be considered by the party as a strong potential candidate, but my first priority now is to complete the session and get the state's business squared away," said Gallot, 42.
Gallot, a two-term state representative, has been a floor leader for Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal as chairman of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee. He helped shepherd Jindal's ethics agenda through the Legislature during a special legislative session earlier this year.
Ironically, Gallot said he recommended Alexander to the party as a candidate in 2002, when Alexander was still a Democrat.
"I still consider Rodney a friend, but we obviously have some different views on issues," Gallot said. "He's been a consistent supporter of the (Iraq) War and President Bush's policies."
Along with state Sen. Don Cravins, Jr., who is "99.9% sure" that he'll run against GOP Rep. Charles Boustany in Louisiana's 7th CD, Rick Gallot is the second member of Louisiana's Legislative Black Caucus that the DCCC has courted for congressional runs in recent weeks.
Alexander won't be easy to beat in this R+9.5 district, but it's worth noting that the 5th CD has the third-highest African-American population (33%) in a GOP-held congressional district, and it's a safe bet that the campaigns of Sens. Obama and Landrieu will be working hard to encourage these voters to go to the polls this fall.
It's amazing to think that, not long after pundits wrote the obituary for Louisiana Democrats in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Bobby Jindal's gubernatorial win, Democrats are holding three of the state's seven House seats, and are poised to wage credible campaigns in three more districts this fall: the open 4th, the 5th, and the 7th.