Many Bossier Council Incumbents Run Unopposed
There is no better feeling if you are an incumbent elected official running for re-election – or a candidate seeking an office – than to find out that you have a free ride after qualifying is over.
To be sure, there were several persons qualifying last week who came away saying, “How sweet it is!”
The surprise of qualifying came when a third candidate entered the District 5 race – Mischa Angel, Republican.Let’s start in Bossier City. Incumbent Mayor Lorenz “Lo”
Walker, a Republican, was unopposed and will serve a third four-year term as mayor.
No one challenged Tim Larkin and David Montgomery, both Republicans, for their Councilman at Large seats, so they are automatically re-elected for another four-year term on the Bossier City Council.
Also getting a free ride to another term on the Bossier City Council were Jeff Darby, Other Party, in District 2; and Don “Bubba” Williams, Democrat, in District 3.
Jeff Free, Republican, was the only one to qualify for the City Council District 4 seat where longtime Councilman David Jones, Republican, is stepping down and did not seek re-election.
Two incumbent council members did draw some opposition. In District 1, incumbent Scott Irwin, Republican, is being challenged by Mike Beam, also a Republican.
In District 5, incumbent Larry Hanisee, Republican, has two opponents. As previously revealed in the Fax-Net, Tommy Harvey, Republican, who lost to Hanisee by two votes in a special election in 2011, qualified.
The qualifying surprise came when a third candidate entered the District 5 race – Mischa Angel, Republican. She is a real estate executive and you can find out more about her at her website, teamangel.com.
Angel’s entry into the rematch between Hanisee and Harvey has politicos wondering what impact she, as a political newcomer, will have on the race and whether it will create a runoff situation.
All of the above elections will be on the ballot on Saturday, April 6.
OMG! Jindal’s sinks lower
The Fax-Net reported last week on a Voter/Consumer Research poll which revealed that Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s job approval rating had fallen into negative territory at 46 percent, down from 64 percent in the fall of 2011.
As bad as that news was for the Jindal camp, it may have been the good news compared with another poll released last week by Public Policy Polling (PPP) of North Carolina.
According to the poll, taken between February 8-12, only 37 percent of voters now think that Jindal is doing a good job, coupled with 57 percent who are unhappy with him.
When PPP last polled Louisiana in 2010, Jindal had an approval rating of 58 percent, making him one of the most popular governors in the country. Now, with his approval rating at 37 percent, he is one of the most unpopular governors.
The poll showed that the decline in Jindal’s popularity cuts across party lines. In 2010, Republicans gave him an 81 percent approval rating; in 2013, only 59 percent of Republicans give him a positive rating.
With Independents in 2010, he had an approval rating of 67 percent, which has now declined to 41 percent. And he has lost support from crossover Democrats. In 2010, they gave him a 33 percent approval rating, but it has now dropped to 15 percent.
Jindal’s free-fall in the polls, needless to say, is getting a lot of national attention since he just took over as head of the Republican Governors Association and is being mentioned as a potential contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Not only that, political analyst Jim Engster told WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge that the poll could hurt Jindal when the session starts in April and could make it a challenge to get some of his ambitious agenda endorsed by lawmakers who think Jindal is failing with the electorate.
Jindal, meanwhile, is not publicly showing much concern about the polls. He told WAFB-TV, “ I don’t worry about polls. There are enough politicians, too many politicians, that worry about that. I’m going to worry about Louisiana. We’ve made a lot of progress, but we still have more to do.”
Maybe so. But the reality is that the Jindal camp has to be very concerned about the way the governor is plummeting in the polls and are surely trying to figure out a strategy to prevent further erosion of Jindal’s approval rating in his home state.
What about Landrieu?
For Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, it was a case of good news and bad news in the PPP poll.
The bad news first. While Landrieu had a 59 percent job approval rating in the Voter/Consumer Research poll, PPP found her approval rating to be 47 percent while 45 percent have a negative opinion.
But that’s an improvement, PPP points out, from its poll in 2010, which had Landrieu with a 41 percent approval rating and a negative of 53 percent.
Now the good news. Landrieu leads all potential Republican opponents in her Senate race in 2014 by a margin of 3 to 12 points.
Interestingly, the Republican who comes the closest to Landrieu in the hypothetical match-ups is Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. But he seems to have his sights set on the governor’s race, not the U.S. Senate.
Here is how Landrieu fared against potential Republican opponents:
*Landrieu 46 percent, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne 43 percent.
*Landrieu 48 percent, U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany 42 percent.
*Landrieu 49 percent, Gov. Bobby Jindal 41 percent.
*Landrieu 50 percent, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy 40 percent.
*Landrieu 48 percent, former U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry 39 percent.
*Landrieu 48 percent, U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise 38 percent.
*Landrieu 50 percent, U.S. Rep. John Fleming 38 percent.
“Most of the Republicans have low name recognition, so it will get closer,” said Dean Dehnam, president of Public Policy Polling. He added, “But Mary Landrieu’s near 50 percent and in a much stronger position for re-election probably than most people would have expected.”
Of those responding to the PPP poll, 40 percent said they voted for President Barack Obama in 2012, 54 percent voted for Republican Mitt Romney, and 6 percent for someone else. Romney carried the state by a 58-41 percent margin.
President Obama had an approval rating of 43 percent and a negative rating of 55 percent in the PPP poll.
Of the Louisianians polled, 24 percent said they were very or somewhat liberal, 28 percent said they were moderate, and 48 percent said the were somewhat or very conservative.
Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.