david vitter

After Vitter's Loss, Louisiana Republicans Seeking Promotions

Fleming was the first, but a number of other ambitious Louisiana Republicans are considering whether they want to move up to Washington through Vitter's loss. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Republican Sen. David Vitter — whose loss to a Democrat in the Louisiana governor's race last month prompted his announcement that he would not run for re-election — was the first domino to fall, on Monday, he finally knocked over the second one.  

Rep. John Fleming, R-La., officially announced his candidacy for Vitter's now-open seat with a Web video  in which he portrayed himself as a "passionate conservative" who has fought the leadership of his own party. And Fleming could soon be joined in his party's primary by Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., whose spokesman Jack Pandol said he "is planning a formal announcement event in Louisiana" in the coming weeks.  With the two of them looking for a promotion — a move that would require them to free up their seats for the first time in about a decade — more dominoes could fall even further down the ballot as a number of other ambitious Republicans consider whether they want to move up to Washington, D.C.  

Should Vitter's Loss Worry Scandal-Plagued Lawmakers?

Vitter suffered his first political loss this past weekend. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

David Vitter thought he was a survivor.  

He won re-election by 20 points in 2010, 3 1/2 years after his prostitution scandal came to light. It was hard to imagine the scandal coming back to bite him. But six years later, it ended his political career .  

Two Lawmakers Say Campaigns for Vitter's Seat Are Coming Soon

Boustany, above, and Fleming say they'll soon make announcements on their plans for Vitter's Senate seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 5 p.m. |  Two days after Republican Sen. David Vitter's defeat in the Louisiana governor's race and his announcement that he would not seek re-election, two Republicans said they were readying campaigns for the seat next year.  

In a statement Monday morning, Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., a six-term Republican from southwest Louisiana who had considered a run for Senate in 2014, said a "formal announcement" for 2016 will take place soon near his hometown of Lafayette.  “Louisiana deserves a United States Senator who can lead in times of challenge, offer conservative, workable solutions to complex problems, and bring unity in times of division," he said. "I look forward to outlining my vision for Louisiana and how I intend to help lead our state to the bright future I know lies before us.”  

After Vitter's Loss, Louisiana Republicans Eye His Senate Seat

Louisiana gubernatorial candidate Vitter, center, speaks to reporters after his debate against Democratic candidate John Bel Edwards, in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Even before Republican Sen. David Vitter's announcement that he would not seek re-election next fall after his loss in the Louisiana governor's race  Saturday night, a number of Pelican State Republicans were already looking at his seat.  

Reps. Charles Boustany Jr. and John Fleming, and state Treasurer John Kennedy — all of whom supported Vitter's campaign — had been hoping for an appointment by Vitter in the event he was elected. Now, they will now have to take their ambitions to the voters.   Kennedy, during an interview Saturday night at Vitter's election watch party, shrugged off questions about whether he will run for Vitter's seat.  

Vitter Won't Seek Re-Election After Louisiana Governor's Loss

Vitter thanks supporters during his election night watch party in Kenner, La., on Saturday. (Max Becherer/AP Photo)

Republican Sen. David Vitter said he will not seek re-election next year after his stunning loss to Democrat John Bel Edwards in the Louisiana governor's race.

"I came up short tonight," he told supporters at his election night watch party in Kenner, La.

Vitter's Future on the Line as Louisiana Votes for Governor

Vitter speaks to reporters after Monday's debate in Baton Rouge. (Gerald Herbert/AP Photo)

As Louisiana voted Saturday in the runoff election for governor, Sen. David Vitter flooded the three-parish New Orleans metro area with robocalls striking a contrite tone: “I humbly ask for your vote.”  

To Republican strategist James Farwell, who lives in New Orleans and has a long record of working with Newt Gingrich, Vitter’s self-defending TV ads with his family in the campaign's final days are a sign of how well Democrat John Bel Edwards' campaign executed its strategy.  

Vitter's Governor Race Raises Concerns Over His Senate Seat in 2016

A narrative that had once defined Vitter as the inevitable leader in the Louisiana governor's race has flipped, raising concerns about his Senate seat. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter's gubernatorial campaign won't entertain questions about his future should he lose the Nov. 21 runoff.  

But plenty of other Republicans are already looking past then to whether Vitter would run for re-election to the Senate in 2016 and the implications of what that means for keeping control of the Senate in their party's hands. One national Republican operative told CQ Roll Call that if Vitter does lose the governor's race, “he’s going to have to have a long look in the mirror and come to the realization that he probably can’t win reelection [to the Senate]. This is a problem for Republicans if he does digs his heels in.”  

Prostitution Pops Up in New Round of Louisiana Ads

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reeling from months of attacks about his 2007 prostitution scandal, Republican Sen. David Vitter released a new TV ad offering voters an apology in the final days of his Louisiana gubernatorial campaign.  

"Fifteen years ago, I failed my family but found forgiveness and love,” Vitter said directly to the camera. "Our falls aren't what define us, but rather how we get up, accept responsibility and earn redemption." https://www.youtube.com/embed/yImv6dnzNl4  

Louisiana Governor's Election Continues Tradition of Unusual Party Splits

Vitter is trailing in the race to become Louisiana's next governor. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 5:46 p.m. | Among some Republicans in Louisiana, Republican Sen. David Vitter's candidacy for governor is drawing comparisons to an election with an unpopular nominee more than two decades ago that divided the party.  

“What I keep hearing from folks – neighbors and other parents at the school – is, ‘this is going to be the first time since 1991 that I vote Democrat. I just can’t vote for that guy,’” said one Louisiana Republican operative. The Pelican State – with its free-for-all, jungle primary system – has a unique history of troubled nominees and intra-party feuds. During the 1991 race, for example, state Rep. David Duke – a man who openly associated with Nazi groups and served as the grand wizard of Ku Kluk Klan during the 1970s – was the party's standard-bearer for governor.  

David Vitter Trails Democrat in Louisiana Governor's Runoff

Vitter, R-La., heads to the Senate floor for a vote. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In the first poll released since two candidates emerged from Louisiana’s jungle primary for governor, state House Minority Leader John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, holds a serious lead over Republican Sen. David Vitter.  

The survey , made public by the Democratic Governors Association and conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research — an Alabama-based firm that has done polling for both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and now Hillary Rodham Clinton’s — found Edwards with a 12-point lead, 52 percent to 40 percent, with less than four weeks until the Nov. 21 runoff.  Vitter inched his way into the runoff on Oct. 24 over two other Republicans with 23 percent of the vote. He finished four points ahead of Scott Angelle, a member of the state’s Public Service Commission, and eight points ahead of Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. Edwards received about 40 percent of the vote.