Eric Cantor Backs Candidate in Louisiana House Special | #LA05

Cantor has endorsed a candidate in the special election to replace former Rep. Rodney Alexander. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.
Louisiana election law places every candidate who qualifies for the race on the general election ballot. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, the election heads to a runoff with the top-two vote recipients, regardless of party.

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.