Oct 4, 2010 9:32 PM by Alison Haynes
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The lieutenant governor's race has been
whittled from an eight-person field to a head-to-head matchup
between Republican Jay Dardenne and Democrat Caroline Fayard, but
both candidates said they don't expect to go on the attack.
Dardenne, Louisiana's secretary of state from Baton Rouge, said
he views the Nov. 2 election as a clear choice between two
candidates with different philosophical and partisan positions. He
said Fayard represents the national Democratic establishment and
called himself a fiscal conservative.
"I think it'll be a very positive race, and we'll both be
delivering our messages, and I don't expect it will take a negative
turn," Dardenne said.
Fayard, a lawyer and political novice from New Orleans,
described the race Monday as a choice between a candidate who's
been entrenched in politics for years and a newcomer who's been
working in business, law and teaching and offers new ideas.
"I think I bring something different to the table and a new
perspective," she said. "I think mine is more about the future."
She disagreed that the race would fall along party lines or
center on partisan disagreements, saying the lieutenant governor's
job isn't about policymaking or tax positions but about leading
Louisiana's tourism and marketing efforts.
"Louisiana tends to have a history of crossover voting. I think
voters will consider that," Fayard said. "Whether you're a 'D' or
an 'R' is less relevant. I think what's important is an 'L' for
Fayard, who didn't launch her campaign until this summer, will
need to pick up far more support than Democrats received in
Saturday's election if she wants to win the job. Altogether, the
three Democratic candidates in the race received 36 percent of the
But no candidate neared a majority in the crowded field.
Dardenne advanced to the runoff with 28 percent, and Fayard
received 24 percent, according to unofficial results from the
Secretary of State's office.
The campaign has stayed largely positive so far, with only one
candidate in the primary election launching direct attacks against
an opponent. State GOP Chairman Roger Villere lambasted Dardenne
for his tax and gambling votes as a state senator. Villere's
campaign failed to gain traction, however, and he came in sixth
Besides being first in the succession line if something happens
to the governor, Louisiana's lieutenant governor oversees the
Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and manages parks,
museums, the state library and tourism efforts.
The election is to fill the remaining year of the term for Mitch
Landrieu, who left the post when he became mayor of New Orleans.
In Saturday's election, Fayard's strengths came in New Orleans,
where she easily outpaced her opponents, and in several parishes in
north Louisiana. She won six parishes of the state's 64. Dardenne
led in 17 parishes, including several near his hometown of Baton
The two candidates were the highest money-raisers in the race.
Dardenne raised nearly a million dollars since announcing his
candidacy, while Fayard raised $350,000 and pumped another $440,000
of her own cash into the campaign.
Both ran the most visible ad campaigns on TV as well.