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GOP businessman Vance McAllister wins House seat in Louisiana
McAllister easily beats fellow Republican State Senator Neil Riser in 5th District runoff
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor
MONROE, Louisiana (CFP) — Armed with an endorsement from the stars of Duck Dynasty, Republican businessman and political newcomer Vance McAllister easily won a special election for a vacant U.S. House seat in Louisiana.
McAllister, 39, from Swartz, beat Republican State Senator Neil Riser, 51, of Columbia, by a 60-40 percent margin in the November 16 runoff. He will replace GOP U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, who resigned his seat after he was appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal to head the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.
Riser had finished first in the first round of voting on October 19, with 32 percent of the vote, setting up a runoff with McAllister, who captured 18 percent. Under Louisiana’s blanket primary system, candidates from all parties run in the same primary, which set up the battle between two Republicans in the heavily GOP district.
The 5th District takes in 24 parishes in northeastern and central Louisiana, including some parishes along the Mississippi River east of Baton Rouge.
Alexander, first elected as a Democrat in 2002, switched to the GOP in 2004. McAllister’s election keeps Louisiana’s House delegation steady at six Republicans and one Democrat.
Riser had the backing of Alexander and the state GOP establishment. But McAllister fought back by pouring more than $400,000 of his own money into the race and enlisting support from Willie and Jep Robertson, family friends and stars of the popular A&E series.
Both Robertsons cut ads for McAllister that aired during the runoff campaign.