The Member-vs.-Member battle in the Bayou has begun and this Pelican State brawl is going to get very, very dirty.
Freshman GOP Rep. Jeff Landry announced tonight he will face off with four-term Republican Rep. Charles Boustany in Louisiana's newly configured 3rd district in the state's November "jungle primary." Calling himself a "consistent, common-sense, Cajun conservative," he slammed Boustany.
"I am not your typical Congressman," Landry said, according to his prepared remarks. "If that is what you are looking for, that’s not me; that’s the other guy."
"With our nation in debt, burdening our children and grandchildren with huge deficits and uncontrollable spending, I do not believe Congress should have gotten a pay raise," Landry said. "But, ladies and gentlemen, Charles voted with Nancy Pelosi to increase his own pay."
After redistricting, Landry's and Boustany's districts were combined into a new district that is mostly Boustany's current turf. The election will pit Landry, a tea-party-affiliated bomb-thrower, against Boustany, a mild-mannered former heart surgeon who is close with Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and the GOP establishment.
Boustany has the early edge by virtue of his potent bankroll and the fact that more voters in the newly configured district are his current constituents.
Boustany ended March with $1.5 million in cash on hand; Landry had $820,000.
"We prepare every two years and take on any and all challengers," Boustany said in an interview late Monday evening with Roll Call. "This changes nothing for me. I'm committed to running a hard-nosed, aggressive, grass-roots campaign."
Roll Call rates the race as Safe Republican, but that doesn't mean it will be a cordial or short fight.
Louisiana's election laws mean both candidates — and any Democrat — will face off in November. If no one gets to 50 percent, the top two finishers fight it out in a Dec. 1 runoff election.