Louisiana: Parties Spend Heavily in McCrery Seat Race

Posted November 26, 2008 at 3:18pm

Candidates and party officials continue to shake the money tree and raise funds for the last competitive race of the 2008 cycle.

As a result of an active hurricane season that forced officials to push back the state’s primary election calendar, Louisiana will hold two general elections on Saturday, with the more competitive of those races taking place in the battleground 4th district of retiring Rep. Jim McCrery (R).

In that contest, Democrat Paul Carmouche reported raising more than $362,000 from Oct. 16 to Nov. 16, according to Federal Election Commission reports filed last week. The Carmouche campaign also reported $72,000 in cash on hand at the end of the period and $59,000 in debts incurred during the final month of the campaign. Since launching his bid, Carmouche has raised more than $1.21 million in his effort to move the Shreveport-based 4th district seat in the Democratic column.

National Democrats have been backing the Caddo Parish district attorney since before the primary election, and as of Nov. 24, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had dropped more than $548,000 in independent expenditures on the 4th district contest.

But Republicans are also spending heavily to ensure that physician John Fleming (R) keeps the 4th district seat in Republican hands.

Fleming raised $370,000 in the last month of the campaign, with $160,000 of that coming from loans that the Republican has made to his own campaign. On Nov. 16, Fleming had just $16,000 in cash on hand, according to FEC reports, but considering how frequently he cuts checks to his campaign, funding isn’t likely to be a problem for the Republican in the final week of the contest. Fleming, the owner of a Subway restaurant franchise, has loaned his campaign almost $935,000 since joining the race.

The National Republican Congressional Committee had dropped more than $621,000 in independent expenditures on the contest as of Nov. 24. That total includes a $233,000 media buy made last week.