U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, announced Monday evening that he intends to challenge Lafayette Republican Charles Boustany this fall to represent the new 3rd Congressional District. Landry’s announcement at Sugar Mill Pond in Youngsville was one of the most anticlimactic events of the 2012 political season: signs have been abundant for weeks that the freshman Tea Party darling would take on the moderate, establishment Boustany.
Landry’s announcement is born of political necessity: His current 3rd Congressional District is being eliminated due to Louisiana’s loss of one of its seven districts, and his hometown in Iberia Parish is being absorbed into Boustany’s 7th CD. The new district in southwest Louisiana, which largely mirrors Boustany’s current district, will be called the 3rd CD effective Jan. 1, 2013.
Boustany is serving his fourth term in Congress and has already announced his re-election bid. This should get interesting – and ugly – very soon.
Following is Landry's full announcement, a transcript of which was provided by his office:
I want to thank you all for being here tonight. I also want to thank my wife, Sharon, and our son, J.T., for being here.
We originally planned this event as just a simple meet and greet. However, I have come to a decision and I want to share it with all of you.
Two years ago I announced I would run for Congress – not because I needed a job, but because I felt we needed to return the government back to the people.
I have been a successful oil and gas small business owner.
It was not my lifelong dream to be a Congressman.
I ran when no one said I could win; but we won! Because we ran on principle. To fight for our jobs. To fight for a balanced budget amendment and stop uncontrollable spending. And to fight for our conservative family values.
If you think the way Washington runs is bad – I am here to tell you it is even worse than you thought.
Because there are some Republicans who claim they are conservative but vote like liberals. It happens – because they’re more interested in keeping their jobs than fighting for your jobs.
The only way to fix that is to send real Conservatives to Congress and not re-elect career politicians.
And it is why I am announcing right here tonight – right now – that I am running for re-election to the United States Congress.
Now let me tell you this – I am not your typical Congressman. If that is what you are looking for, that’s not me; that’s the other guy.
Now look, a lot people are going to try to tell you that there are no differences between me and the DC establishment candidate.
But there are big differences – big differences.
For one, I keep my promises. I promised I would decline Congressional healthcare and retirement benefits. And that is exactly what I did during my first week in office.
It is called leadership by example.
Another difference is that I am working to pass a law to strip pension from Members of Congress.
Why because it’s the right thing to do.
But Charles? Every single day, even while we are here tonight, he is racking up his special Congressional retirement which will be paid for on your backs. Oh and don’t forget that you are paying for his Congressional healthcare too.
I am also working to enact into law the elimination of pay for Members of Congress if we don’t get the federal budget under control.
Why – because as a oil and gas small business owner – I know if someone is not doing their job, they should not get paid.
Again leadership by example.
Again Charles won’t help!
Finally – and most importantly – this is where the rubber meets the road.
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.
But, ladies and gentlemen – Charles voted with Nancy Pelosi to increase his own pay.
That is right. When Democrats controlled Congress, under Nancy Pelosi, Charles voted with her allowing his pay to increase. Now, do you believe that was a Conservative vote?
I am proud to have led the fight our oil and gas jobs.
While others sent out press releases – I took action, holding a DRILLING=JOBS sign up at the President’s jobs speech.
I have worked to protect our fisheries industry, and I support our agricultural industries along with our other small businesses here in South Louisiana.
I will not back down in the fighting for our jobs – I will not compromise your principles for my job.
When other Congressman marched down to the White House to have the President lecture them on spending – I said no. And when the Debt Ceiling Deal came up, a Washington deal loaded with trillions of more debt onto the backs of our children without any end in sight and the disastrous Super Committee – I voted no.
Senator Vitter joined me in voting no and requested me to join him at his forums in Lake Charles and Lafayette explaining why this vote was, in and of itself, a disaster for our nation.
As a veteran, I believe in ensuring that those who have sacrificed for our country get the respect and support of a grateful nation. I have fought for our veterans, including for the clinics here – not with press releases or press stunts – but through real work to get the job done.
I support our troops who are in harm’s way. When the President attempted to threaten the pay of our military members as a negotiating tactic on the budget – I made it clear that I would reject and refuse my own pay if the President tried to touch theirs.
I have also stood up for pro-life and pro- family values. I have a perfect score with the Family Research Council.
It is only because of these issues that I would give up more precious time away from my home here in South Louisiana to battle the politicians in Washington.
I think people are tired of politicians who say one thing at home and do another thing in Washington.
People are tired of politicians who are more worried about their own future than the future of our jobs and our families here in South Louisiana.
People are tired of politics as usual.
If that is what you are looking for – I am not your guy.
But if you are looking for a consistent, common-sense, Cajun conservative – I need your vote, I need your help, and I need your support in this campaign.
I ask you to join me in this fight. Together, we can restore this nation.
God bless you all, God bless Louisiana, and God bless America.