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Louisiana US. Sen. Bill Cassidy is only Southern Republican to support Jan. 6 commission

All 5 Southern Democrats vote for bipartisan independent panel to take deep dive into Capitol assault by pro-Trump mob

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

WashingtonWASHINGTON (CNN) — U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana stood alone among his Southern Republican colleagues Friday in supporting formation of an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.

cassidy

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana

The bill setting up the commission died after supporters fell six votes short of the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who said the panel would add an “extraneous layer” of investigation into events at the U.S. Capitol, which was stormed by a pro-Trump mob trying to block certification of President Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.

All five Southern Senate Democrats — Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia — voted in favor of the independent probe.

Eighteen Southern Republicans voted no, while four did not vote, including U.S. Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, who, along with Cassidy, voted to convict Donald Trump in an impeachment trial for his actions that day.

The three other Southern Republicans who did not vote on the commission bill were Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Richard Shelby of Alabama. All three had previously indicated that they were opposed to the commission.

In a statement defending his decision not to support the commission, Burr said several investigations are already underway “being led by the committees with jurisdiction, and I believe, as I always have, this is the appropriate course. I don’t believe establishing a new commission is necessary or wise.”

But Cassidy warned his colleagues that if the independent commission wasn’t approved, Democrats in the House would push ahead with an investigation by a select committee “the nature of which will be entirely dictated by Democrats and would stretch on for years.”

The proposed investigative commission — modeled after the panel that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 — would have had 10 members, half appointed by each party. Subpoenas could only have been issued if agreed to on both sides, and the investigation would have wrapped up by the end of 2021, nine months before the 2022 midterm election.

When the measure passed the House, 35 Republicans had voted for it. But when it got over to the Senate, McConnell began urging GOP members to oppose it as unnecessary and potentially politically detrimental.

Trump also came out firmly against the idea, calling it a “Democrat trap” and castigating House Republicans who supported it.

Manchin, the leading centrist voice among Senate Democrats, had been particularly forceful in lobbying his Republican colleagues to support the investigation, saying there was “no excuse for Republicans not to vote for this unless they don’t want to know the truth.”

But Manchin also refused to budge on his long-standing opposition to eliminating the filibuster, the procedure that allowed Republicans to block the commission even though 54 senators were in favor of it.

The Republicans who voted against formation of the commission were:

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Democratic State Senator Troy Carter wins open Louisiana U.S. House seat

Carter defeats fellow State Senator Karen Carter-Peterson in 2nd District runoff

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

NEW ORLEANS (CFP) — The Democratic establishment has claimed another victory in its ongoing battle with progressive insurgents, with Louisiana State Senator Troy Carter winning an intra-party runoff Saturday to claim the 2nd U.S. House District seat.

U.S. Rep.-elect Troy Carter, D-Louisiana

Carter won 55 percent of the vote to 45 percent for State Senator Karen Carter-Peterson. He  will replace Cedric Richmond, who resigned to take a job as the White House public engagement director in the Biden administration.

“We’ve had a long, hard-fought campaign, and God has blessed us with a victory,” Carter said in a victory address to supporters after the vote. “Your voice was heard at the ballot box, and now I want to go to Washington to be your voice.”

Carter, who led in the first round of voting in April, was endorsed by Richmond and also had support from much of the Democratic establishment and major unions.

Carter-Peterson had support from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and from liberal grassroots group such as Democracy for America and Our Revolution, a group spun out of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Carter-Peterson was trying to become the first black woman ever elected to Congress from the Pelican State.

The majority black 2nd District includes most of New Orleans and part of Baton Rouge, along with the River Parishes between the two cities.

Carter-Peterson carried the parts of the district in and around Baton Rouge, but Carter beat her in the two largest parishes, Orleans and Jefferson.

His win will expand the Democratic majority in the House from two to three seats, with three Democratic-leaning seats also vacant in Florida, New Mexico and Ohio. Two Republican-held seats are open in Texas and Ohio.

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Runoff Saturday for open Louisiana U.S. House seat

Democratic State Senators Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson vying in 2nd District race

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

NEW ORLEANS (CFP) — Voters in Louisiana’s 2nd U.S. House District will go to the polls Saturday to decide which of two Democratic state senators from New Orleans will be their next representative in Congress.

State Senators Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson are competing in a runoff to replace Cedric Richmond, who resigned to take a job as the White House public engagement director in the Biden administration.

Polls for in-person voting open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Saturday.

State Senators Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson

Carter, who has support from much of the Democratic establishment and major unions, led in the first round of voting in April, ahead of Carter-Peterson, who has support from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and from liberal grassroots group such as Democracy for America and Our Revolution, a group spun out of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Should she prevail on Saturday, Carter-Peterson would be the first black woman ever elected to Congress from the Pelican State.

The majority black 2nd District includes most of New Orleans and part of Baton Rouge, along with the River Parishes between the two cities.

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Republican Julia Letlow wins race for Louisiana U.S. House District 5; District 2 race heads to runoff

2 New Orleans Democratic state senators, Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson, will meet in runoff

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com

NEW ORLEANS (CFP) — Republican Julia Letlow has won a special election for Louisiana’s 5th District U.S. House seat less than three months after her husband, Luke, died of COVID-19 complications before he could be sworn into the post.

In another special election Saturday in the 2nd District, Democratic state senators Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson advanced to an April 24 runoff in a contest to replace Cedric Richmond, who resigned to take a job as the White House public engagement director in the Biden administration.

U.S. Rep.-Elect Julia Letlow, R-Louisiana

In the 5th District race, Letlow, 40, a former external affairs official at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, took 65% of the vote, besting 11 other candidates in the all-party race.

Coming in second place at 27% was the lone Democrat in the contest, Candy Christophe, a businesswoman and social worker from Alexandria.

Letlow’s husband, Luke, won the seat in November but died December 29 from COVID complications, days before he was scheduled to be sworn into Congress.

She will be just the third woman to represent a Louisiana district in the House, ending a 30-year drought of female representation.

The 5th District includes parts of 24 parishes in the state’s northeast corner and along the Mississippi border.

In the 2nd District — which includes most of New Orleans and part of Baton Rouge, along with the River Parishes between — Carter and Carter-Peterson led a field of 15 candidates, with Carter finishing first with 36% and Carter-Peterson with 23%.

However, the third-place finisher,Democrat Gary Chambers, a community activist from Baton Rouge, was just 1,500 votes behind Carter-Peterson.

Carter had support from much of the Democratic establishment and major unions, while Carter-Peterson drew support from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and from liberal grassroots group such as Democracy for America and Our Revolution, a group spun out of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign.

But Chambers was competing for those same voters and came in ahead of Carter-Peterson in Orleans Parish, the largest in the district.

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Louisiana voters will decide 2 U.S. House special elections Saturday

Replacements will be picked in the 2nd District centered in New Orleans and the 5th District in Northeast Louisiana

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com

NEW ORLEANS (CFP) — Voters in two Louisiana U.S. House districts will begin the process of picking new members of Congress Saturday, choosing from among crowded fields in both races.

In the 2nd District, centered in New Orleans, 15 candidates are running in an all-party contest to replace Democrat Cedric Richmond, who resigned to take a job as the White House public engagement director in the Biden administration.

In the 5th District, in northeast Louisiana, 12 candidates are running to replace Republican Luke Letlow, who was elected to the seat in November but died from COVID-19 in December before he could take office.

Polls for in-person voting will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Clockwise from top left: Letlow, Carter, Carter-Peterson, Chambers

Letlow’s widow, Julia Letlow, a former official at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, is the clear front-runner in the race to replace him. But she will have to win a majority on Saturday to avoid a runoff on April 24.

The 2nd District race, crowded with prominent political names, is likely headed to a runoff. The front-runners include two state senators from New Orleans, Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson, and Gary Chambers, a community activist from Baton Rouge.

Carter has support form much of the Democratic establishment and major unions, while Carter-Peterson has been drawn support from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and from liberal grassroots group such as Democracy for America and Our Revolution, a group spun out of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Chambers has been competing with Cater-Peterson for votes on the activist left, despite her organizational support.

While the runoff is likely to be among Democrats ,given the partisan lean of the district, Republican support has coalesced behind Claston Bernard, an Olympic decathlete originally from Jamaica and former track star at LSU, who is making his first bid for political office.

The 2nd District includes most of New Orleans and part of Baton Rouge, along with the River Parishes between. The 5th District includes parts of 25 parishes in the state’s northeast corner and along the Mississippi border.

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