The Lake Charles politico has been a quintessential Democrat during his career, dating back to his days as Calcasieu Parish District Attorney. But reports are circulating that Ieyoub is considering a move to the Republican fold. He did nothing to discount a move last week. Asked about the rumors, Ieyoub cheerfully replied, "I have no comment on that."
It would seem that Ieyoub might passionately discount any flirtation with the GOP after logging a career infused by votes from African-Americans and blue-collar constituents. But the 61-year-old proven vote-getter would be a prize catch for state Republicans and could hardly be blamed for entertaining overtures to break through to the other side. Ieyoub could emerge as a challenger in 2007 to Gov. Blanco, the candidate he embraced in her runoff against Bobby Jindal two years ago.
Blanco and Ieyoub were a potent force in the final days of that campaign, but if there is an Ieyoub switch in the offing, Jindal might end up endorsing his former adversary. National Republicans are seeking diversity in the ranks and would relish the sight of an Indian-American backing a Lebanese-American in a Deep South gubernatorial race.
Ieyoub has found fellow Democrats his most menacing foes in the last decade. He missed a runoff for the Senate against Woody Jenkins by an eyelash nine years ago, and he contends Sen. Mary Landrieu played dirty politics to nudge past him into second place in the primary. In 2003, Buddy Leach took away a part of the Ieyoub base, leaving Blanco as the Democrat to battle Jindal. Ieyoub finished a close third in the race.
Friend and supporter Jim Bernhard of the Shaw Group is now the chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party. Bernhard makes it even less likely that Ieyoub will defect to the GOP. But Ieyoub is a man who embraces change. He probably has one good race remaining, and as a Republican, Ieyoub could challenge Landrieu or Blanco and have a fighting chance of prevailing.
As a Democrat, this seasoned politician must wait until he's 64 years old in 2008 to go toe to toe with U.S. Sen. David Vitter, and there may be ample candidates inside the Democratic fold. Ieyoub has a substantial record and sizable ambition, and soon political junkies will know if the Republican Party is large enough for the Lake Charles heavyweight.
JEFFERSON EYED BY FEDS
Federal agents raided two residences occupied by New Orleans Congressman Bill Jefferson this month. Reports quote unnamed sources as saying cash was seized from a freezer in the process. Jefferson attorney Michael Fawer says any information in the case should be put on ice, and the high-profile lawyer chides the feds for allegedly leaking the story.
Some pundits are preparing a political obituary for the eight-term U.S. House member, but Jefferson is used to beating the odds. He was born in Lake Providence, one of the poorest towns in America. After earning a diploma from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Jefferson collected a law degree from Harvard. While serving in Congress, he added a master's degree to his resume.
Jefferson is a soft-spoken, lanky man and a consummate schmoozer. He has been involved in business dealings on a couple of continents, and there is speculation that his associations in Africa are at the center of this probe. It's too early to count Jefferson out, and his defense will be vigorous with Fawer at the helm. The feds are also playing to win this one by placing the case in a largely white Republican suburb of Virginia, not in Washington D.C., where Jefferson lives away from New Orleans.
Six years ago, Jefferson ran for governor and finished a distant second to Mike Foster in the race. In defeat, he solidified his standing as the most prominent African-American politician in Louisiana. The Second District congressman succeeded Lindy Boggs in the House and has rubbed shoulders with some of the most prominent politicians in America during his 15 years on Capitol Hill.
The former Louisiana lawmaker, who sometimes was called "Dollar Bill" for his ability in the state Senate to attract funding for programs near and dear to New Orleans, is now derisively called the same name in some quarters. He's likely to face a forgiving electorate next year, but his career ' and freedom ' could be at stake if he is indicted.
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.