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Posted: Tuesday, 29 April 2014 9:27AM

5th District Congressional seat up for grabs

Louisiana 5th District Congressman Vance McAllister isn't running for reelection. He will complete his term that expires in January.

When a video surfaced showing the congressman kissing a married staff member, the father of five retreated to his home for what he called "family healing."

LSU political science professor Kirby Goidel sounded amused by the timing, as top Republicans, including Governor Bobby Jindal, had asked for McAllister's resignation right after the scandal broke.

''He seemed to be resisting the pressure and so the timing now is interesting," Goidel said. "Most likely, he's taken stock of where he stands in the district and his potential to win reelection and the numbers just look to bad."

The news leaves the door open as to who will fill the 5th District Congressional seat.  With the election almost six months away, University of Louisiana-Monroe political science professor Joshua Stockley says potential candidates need to act quickly.

"The challenge for all of the potential candidates over the next couple of days, not even weeks, but in the next couple of days is determining who would support them financially or verbally through endorsements or on the ground, willing to canvas the largest district in the state of Louisiana."

The 5th District covers 24 parishes in Louisiana from Monroe to Alexandria and portions of Tangipahoa and Washington parishes.  14 candidates threw their hat in the ring for the seat during the special election last year.  Stockley says that we could see some of the same this go around, too.

"I think we could potentially see both the same cast, largely, and I would fully expect a name or two of someone who didn't run last time."

Stockley says who decides to run or not to run could greatly influence the number of candidates in the upcoming election.  He speculates that one candidate who can greatly influence this is State Senator Neil Riser.

"If he chooses to run, I think we could see a smaller candidate field because he will instantly, like last time, probably be considered the favorite, again."

Riser had the support of former Congressman Rodney Alexander and Governor Bobby Jindal last year.


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