Republican state Sen. Neil Riser received the backing of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor this week in the special election to replace former Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., according to a local news source.
Riser, who will seek the 5th District seat in the Oct. 19 special election, has also received endorsements from three Louisiana Republicans — John Fleming, Steve Scalise and Charles Boustany Jr.
Republican operatives consider Riser to be the front-runner in the crowded, 14-candidate field to replace Alexander, who resigned in August to take a position in Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration.
A recent poll by JMC Enterprises — conducted on Aug. 16 before the filing deadline passed — found Riser drawing 29 percent of the vote. The next closest candidate, Democratic Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, garnered 11 percent. The automated poll surveyed 755 likely voters and had a 3.6-percent margin of error; it did not include some of the candidates who announced they were running on the day of the filing deadline.
Other candidates in the race include:
- Former Rep. Clyde Holloway, R-La., who represented the former 8th District from 1987 until 1993. He currently serves as Louisiana’s Public Service Commissioner.
- State Rep. Jay Morris, a critic of Jindal who has told the local press that the governor was seeking to “rig this election,” according to the local press.
- Democratic state Rep. Marcus Hunter.
- Democratic state Rep. Robert Johnson.
- Republican Henry Herford Jr., who made news in 2012 when he got into a physical altercation at the Republican state party convention.
The runoff for this special election, which is almost guaranteed with such a crowded field, is scheduled for Nov. 16.
Louisiana’s 5th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district with 61 percent in 2012.