Lafayette Republican Congressman Charles Boustany is doing far better at hauling in the campaign cash than is his GOP colleague and opponent in the November election, U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, according to Federal Election Commission numbers released this week. After a stellar second quarter that brought in $740,000, the Boustany campaign now has $1.91 million in cash on hand compared to Landry’s $975,000 campaign kitty. That’s a 2-1 financial advantage for the retired heart surgeon over the Tea Party-backed New Iberia lawyer/business owner.

UL Lafayette political scientist Pearson Cross tells The Advocate the advantage for Boustany, a Beltway insider with close ties to Speaker John Boehner, is likely due to his de facto incumbency in the redrawn 3rd Congressional District the two will compete to represent. “Boustany’s number is very robust for a congressional race,” Cross tells the Baton Rouge daily. “Based on the numbers he’s putting up, Landry has to do a lot better.”

When the state’s seven U.S. House districts were redrawn last year to reflect the loss of a seat due to stagnant population growth over the last decade, Boustany’s current 7th Congressional District was expanded eastward to take in Landry’s hometown, New Iberia. What remained of Landry’s current 3rd CD was absorbed into New Orleans- and Baton Rouge-area districts, leaving Landry, a first-term rep, with no district to call his own.

The new 3rd CD, which will go into effect in January and for which Landry and Boustany will compete to represent this fall, will run from eastern Acadiana all the way to the Texas state line. The majority of the new district will comprise Boustany’s current district, giving the eight-year incumbent a distinct advantage in name recognition and fundraising.

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