That was fast. Just hours after Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., announced he would leave Congress this week, several local pols publicly indicated their interest in running for the 5th District.
CQ Roll Call broke the news Wednesday afternoon that Alexander will accept an appointment as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs in Gov. Bobby Jindal's cabinet. Alexander's resignation will be effective Sept. 26, per a news release from Jindal's office.
Jindal will set the special-election date, according to a spokeswoman in the Louisiana secretary of state's office. She added that the governor has complete discretion on the timing of a special election as long as the date allows for overseas military ballots to be distributed.
In the meantime, Republicans floated the following names for Alexander's seat:
- State Sen. Neil Riser, whose name came up immediately after Alexander's Tuesday announcement, confirmed to the Times Picayune that he will run for the seat.
- Alexander's chief of staff, Adam Terry, told The Monroe News Star that he also is mulling a run.
"He's well-liked by folks, Democrats and Republicans," one Louisiana Democratic insider said.
Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy, a Democrat, is another potential candidate.
That Democrat further argued that the seat is in play for a number of reasons, including a sizable black population in the district. State Sen. Rick Gallot and state Rep. Katrina Jackson are other possible candidates, according to the source.
However, national Democrats have shown little interest in the race so far.
Alexander initially won the seat as a Democrat in 2002. But minutes before the filing deadline for his 2004 re-election, he switched parties to join the GOP.
This is the third House special election on the docket this fall. (To see which other House seats are open now and in 2014, check out Roll Call's Casualty List.)
Clarification 5:11 p.m.
This post has been updated to clarify Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy's party affiliation. He is a Democrat.