For Louisiana Republicans, the effort to topple Landrieu, a three-term Democrat, creates a number of immediate opportunities down the ballot.
“It’ll be a real big data point for anyone else who wants to run statewide,” said Bradley Beychok, a Democratic operative from Louisiana and president of Media Matters for America. Re-electing Landrieu “would reinvigorate the old guard of the party and show the new guard the path. It’s a test.”
A series of setbacks in the past few election cycles have left Landrieu as the only Democrat among the state’s nine statewide officials. Despite this grim figure, a number of candidates have shown promise and ambition, according to local Democrats.
They named state House Minority Leader John Bel Edwards, state Rep. Katrina Jackson and state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson as possible candidates for statewide or congressional seats.
Nonetheless, it may still be a an uphill battle for any Democrat running for higher office.
“There aren’t that many Democrats of stature anymore,” Cross said. “... Since Obama’s election in particular and the rise of the tea party, the state has really veered right. Looking down the road, I think Louisiana is going to be safely Republican for a while.”
Farm Team is a weekly, state-by-state look at the up-and-coming politicos who may eventually run for Congress.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.