Written by Walter Pierce

Voters in U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry’s home parish of Iberia and neighboring parishes of St. Martin and St. Mary provided just enough of a springboard to vault the Tea Party “patriot” into a runoff with fellow GOP Congressman Charles Boustany of Lafayette.

In a race characterized by ugly TV and radio ads — a race that will get even uglier as outside money groups like the pro-Landry FreedomWorks pump more greasy cash into the tilt — Boustany emerged from Tuesday’s primary with 139,113 votes to Landry’s 93,524, or a 45-30 percent advantage. In six of the 10 parishes comprising the new 3rd Congressional District, Boustany got more than 50 percent of the total vote. In Calcasieu, where hometown Dem Ron Richard did well with 30 percent of the total vote, Boustany managed a 46-18 percent win over Landry. But it was in the eastern part of the district — Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary — where Landry buttered his electoral bread, beating Boustany 52-24, 47-29 and 47-19, respectively.

The two incumbent congressmen meet in a runoff on Dec. 8. The local TV and talk radio stations for whom political ads are financial boon, are happy.

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