By Vladimir Posted in 2008 | Louisiana — Comments (2) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
LA-06 is the Baton Rouge vacated by Rep Richard Baker (R), a ten-term incumbent. The special election to replace Baker was won by Don Cazayoux, a Dem, over Woody Jenkins just a couple of months ago.
Qualifying for this fall's regular elections closed today. In an interesting twist,
Jackson throws wrench in 6th District race
State Rep. Michael Jackson of Baton Rouge pulled the biggest surprise of federal qualifying this week, joining the 6th Congressional District race as an independent after failing to win the seat earlier this year as a Democrat.
The move complicates the re-election hopes of U.S. Rep. Don Cazayoux, D-New Roads, who defeated Jackson in a primary runoff of a special election this spring. It also could revive tensions between black Louisiana Democrats and national party leaders who clashed over the party's role in a special election earlier this year.
Cazayoux is white. Jackson is black. Some black Democrats have accused the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, an arm of the national party, of throwing its support behind Cazayoux before he had claimed the nomination. Cazayoux, then a state House member, went on to defeat GOP nominee Woody Jenkins in the general election to succeed Republican Richard Baker, who retired early.
If no one else qualifies before 5 p.m. today the Nov. 4 general election would feature Cazayoux, Jackson and Republican state Sen. William Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge.
Democratic officials have expressed concerns that Jackson could split the Democratic vote and ensure Cassidy's election in a district that leans Republican in federal races, despite Cazayoux's victory earlier this year.
Cassidy already has lined up the financial support from Baton Rouge Republicans who were not as enthusiastic about Jenkins, a social conservative whose outspoken style has alienated some independents and Republicans who define themselves more along economic issues.
State Democratic leaders did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.