‘That’s part of Louisiana:’ PACs start to air attack ads towards different Republican candidates in Gov. race

The gloves have really come off in the race for Louisiana Governor.
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 10:50 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The gloves have really come off in the race for Louisiana Governor.

Political action committees (PACs) are beginning to air attack ads, you’ve probably even seen on WAFB, backing two different Republican candidates vying for the job.

The most recent one is from Protect Louisiana’s Children LLC, the PAC which supports Attorney General Jeff Landry in the race.

“When Stephen Waguespack was Governor Bobby Jindal’s top aide, Louisiana’s economy sank from 6th to 42nd. Under Waguespack, 13,000 manufacturing jobs disappeared, essential state programs faced severe cuts, and one in five Louisianans was left in poverty,” the narrator said in part in that political ad.

“Well, what’s said in the ad is nothing but a package of blatant lies to be honest with you,” said Stephen Waguespack (R), candidate for governor, and former head of LABI.

Jason Hebert is the chairperson of the PAC (Protect Louisiana’s Children) running the ad, and released this statement to WAFB:

“Protect Louisiana’s Children, LLC is an independent expenditure supporting the candidacy of Jeff Landry for Governor. Team Waguespack recently decided to launch a false and unprovoked attack ad against Jeff Landry. It reeks of desperation and shows they’ve run out of positive things to say about Stephen after one ad. Therefore, we were left to respond in kind with an ad of our own to set the record straight and inform the electorate about the disastrous record of Stephen Waguespack.”

The Reboot Louisiana PAC released an ad last week, blasting Jeff Landry’s record on crime as attorney general.

“Louisiana’s top law enforcement official Jeff Landry has failed us. Murder, rape, carjackings. under Landry’s watch, Louisiana is now the most dangerous state in America,” the narrator in the ad said in part.

Attorney General Landry responded to it last week.

“Look, I really don’t have a response to people who are out there and want to engage in that type of politics. I think the citizens of this state really want to see a race about issues that they care deeply about,” said Landry (R), candidate for governor.

“And what that ad when I saw it, it spoke to is the issue of crime, why is crime spiraling out of control in Louisiana, and what has the chief legal officer in the state has done to control that,” said Waguespack in response to the ad.

“It’s been a very slow start and it’s very late. And it’s been very late and lazy, as they say,” said Roy Fletcher, a political consultant.

Fletcher said with Landry’s sizeable lead among Republicans, Waguespack and his allies are trying to catch up to get into the run-off, likely against Democrat Shawn Wilson.

“So, that’s what the fight is, it’s for second, that’s really what the fights for, who runs second, and which Republican is it. And I don’t think that we’ve seen nearly the fighting we’re going to see as we get closer to qualifying,” said Fletcher.

Meanwhile, the attack ads are getting the attention of Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R).

Tyler Daniel, a political spokesperson for Team Scalise said, “Majority Leader Scalise made it clear that anyone who takes the first negative shot at another Republican should expect “defensive retaliation” in response and should not be surprised when the reaction they provoked happens. Most importantly, Scalise has maintained that this kind of infighting in an open primary is what cost Republicans the governor’s mansion in the 2015 and 2019 elections.”

“And I think it’s kind of mundane to say they shouldn’t even attack each other, because they’re politicians. Yeah, they’re going to attack each other. I just think that’s part of Louisiana, a good attack ad is always a good thing,” said Fletcher.

The Primary Election is October 14.

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