How candidates use nicknames to earn your vote

Unusual nicknames of Louisiana candidates

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Hundreds of Louisiana candidates are using nicknames to identify themselves on election ballots in October.

Some of the names have drawn considerable attention, like gubernatorial candidate, “Live Wire” Landry, and now-withdrawn House candidate, “Rem” Brandt.

Louisiana election code allows candidates to place a nickname in quotation marks directly in front of their last name as long as it is not a title, designation, or deceptive name. Candidates cannot list professional abbreviations, such as “Dr.” or “Prof." either.

“It’s more of a southern thing than a Louisiana thing,” political watcher and Louisiana history buff, Mitch Rabalais, said. “In Mississippi, you had a state senator by the name of Soggy Sweat.”

Rabalais says the names are not likely to have a dramatic impact on the outcome of an election, but they may sway some voters who haven’t closely followed a particular race.

“When voters go into the voting booth and they see somebody that’s ‘Chicken Commander,' that catches attention and makes you say something,” he said. “Every now and then, if they’re unsure about the ballot, they may go, ‘I’ll vote for the guy with the really interesting nickname.’”

A number of Louisiana legislative giants have gone by something other than their given name, including Govs. “Buddy” Roemer, “Bobby” Jindal, and “Mike” Foster, but Rabalais says candidates with especially unique nicknames are winning elections less frequently now than in the state’s colorful political history.

“I think it was a different breed of politician,” he said. “It was a lot of the ‘good ole boys’ back home who went by their nicknames because that’s what they were known by.”

“Everybody knew Sixty Rayburn as ‘Sixty’ in Bogalusa,” he continued. “Go to Bogalusa and ask about Benjamin Burras Rayburn, and they’ll look at you like you’re crazy. Say, ‘Tell me about Sixty,’ and they’ll go, ‘Ohh.’”

WAFB sorted through the names of every candidate who qualified for office in Louisiana. Here are some of our favorites:

  • “Live Wire” Landry
  • “Fox Rich” Richardson
  • “Truck” Gisclair
  • “T-Fred” Mills
  • “Dodie” Horton
  • “Phil Cowboy” Lemoine
  • “Rem” Brandt
  • “Yogi” Maturin
  • “Noonie Man” Batiste
  • “Red Dog” Morgan
  • “G-Ray” Morgan
  • “Jeff Big Daddy” Naquin
  • “Meatball” Verner
  • “Bump” Skaggs
  • “Mike Chicken Commander” Boyter
  • “B-Line” Exline
  • “Joe Bear” Parker, Sr.
  • “Wrecker” Nelson
  • “Pig” Davis
  • “Rawhide” Robinson
  • “Pacman” Martin
  • “Bozo” Metz
  • “Elmo” Bosley
  • “Mud-Bone” Lasseigne
  • “Bayboy” Allen, Sr.
  • “Mr. Me” Oliver Jr.
  • “Toot” Videau
  • “Pine” Smith
  • “D-Dot” Wiley
  • “The Fixer” Staten
  • “T-Boo” Adams
  • “Beau 22” Wesley
  • “Garry Frog” Talbert
  • “June Bug” Moore
  • “Shark” St. Pierre
  • “Gum” Richard
  • “Biscuit” Basco
  • “Mussyboy” Austin
  • “Jamie Lil Stump” Davis
  • “Randy Country” Seal
  • “Punchie” Robinson
  • “Fish” Kershaw

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