Governor’s Race Needs Hot Sauce

Kenneth Cooper

Somebody needs to say something about somebody’s mama soon. Or else, this will be one of the dullest races for governor in a while. Last election we had the intrigue: Will Louisianans be dumb enough to let phony Rispone ride Trump’s jockstrap all the way to the governor’s mansion? And the election before that, we watched in slow motion as front-running David Vitter blew his chances because he likes prostitutes.

But what do we have now? None of the above. No intrigue. No prostitutes. Just parakeets piping the same tune. What’s your thoughts on crime? Well, as a candidate, I second what the other guy who seconded what the other guy said. What about early childhood education? Ditto. Taxes? I plan to do everything the other guy said he’ll do. I’ll just do it better.

Even Trump has denied us of drama. Surely, he knew that the Republican candidates would probably punch a pelican for his endorsement. But what did he do? Did he concoct some type of entertainment? Did he take the opportunity to make it all about himself? Nope. Trump let us down. There was no Apprentice Style Competition held at Mar-a-Lago. No dejected candidates one by one being told “you’re fired.” Instead, he just gave his endorsement to Jeff Landry. And Landry has been front running and sucking drama from the race ever since.

But wait, there’s hope coming from the most unlikely of places—Shawn Wilson, a Black Democrat. Wilson has been steadily producing run-off numbers in the polls. Yes, this is probably because he’s the lone Democrat in a field with 6 Republicans. But anything can go down in a run-off. And surprisingly, the state (demographically, and on a key issue) seems to be trending in his favor.

Demographically, Wilson is poised to tap into the silent minority, i.e., Black people. The latest poll shows that out of all the candidates Wilson has the most to gain due to so many undecided Black voters. What they could possibly be undecided about is the subject for another article. But besides those undecideds, Wilson also has a rising Black population to draw from.

The state’s Black population has risen so much (up to a ⅓) that the State’s Congressional Map will soon be redrawn to add a 2nd Black district. That will most likely result in a 2nd Black U.S. Congressman from our state. We can thank the Supreme Court for that. Come the run-off, Wilson’s campaign must make it known that Landry and most Republicans are against this.

They should also make it known that Louisiana is on the cusp of making history. A Wilson win would give the state its first Black governor in 150 years. So far Wilson hasn’t gone all in for the Black vote. But he’ll have to if he wants to get the undecideds and those who typically stay home to cast a ballot.

The abortion issue also gives Wilson an edge. Current polls show the state has flipped from pro-life to pro-choice in just 4 years. That leaves Landry behind the times. And while Wilson has identified as pro-life personally, he’s said that policy-wise he’d lean pro-choice.

This stance could allow him to tap into another demographic—White women. Yes, the same White women who tend not to vote for Black candidates. But 4 years ago, these same White women weren’t for abortion. So, who knows.

There you have it though. Drama. We’re on the cusp of it. 3 months from a potential run-off with a chance to move forward and make history or take another step backward. Don’t blow it, as usual, Louisiana.

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