Rep. Jeff Landrys district in the southeastern portion of the state was essentially eliminated after Louisiana was apportioned one less seat in the 2010 census.
A Landry-Boustany race, if it ends up happening, won’t be over until November 2012, at the earliest. Louisiana returned to open or “jungle” primaries this year, which means all candidates of both parties will be on the ballot. The top two vote-getters will move on to a runoff in December 2012, regardless of party, unless one garners more than 50 percent of the vote. It’s unclear at this point which candidate the unusual electoral system would benefit.
There’s another dynamic that could be at play in the race, one that extends to Washington.
John Maginnis, the publisher of the nonpartisan LAPolitics.com and an analyst of Louisiana political trends, said Boustany is closely linked to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), while Landry is a member of the Tea Party Caucus and is supported by tea party activists.
Boustany, a doctor, was chosen by leadership to give the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s health care speech to a joint session of Congress in 2009.
But it is unclear whether Boustany’s connection to the establishment would actually help him in a race against Landry.
“Where Boustany touts his relationship with Boehner and being on that committee and this committee, a lot of people down here are ... pretty much anti-Washington,” Pinsonat said.
As for the potential of a cordial, friendly race, it seems unlikely, especially given that Boustany supported Downer over Landry in the 2010 primary.
“There is no love lost between the two,” Pinsonat said.