Downer questions Landry’s LAGOP and RPEC endorsements
SOUTH LOUISIANA – Retired Major General Hunt Downer has questioned the process by which his opponent Jeff Landry “earned” the endorsement of the LAGOP and several PECs in the 3rd District. Mr. Landry touts the endorsement of several PECs (Parish Executive Committees) in South Louisiana including: Lafourche, St. Charles, St. John, Ascension, Iberia, St. Martin, St. James, and Assumption. Downer has received the endorsement of Jefferson Parish’s Republican Party.
However, only two of the PECs, Lafourche and Jefferson, held fair and open endorsement processes. St. John the Baptist Parish does not have any members listed on the Secretary of State’s Website and the Louisiana Republican Party could not provide a list of its members. Assumption and St. James Parishes have only one member listed and St. Martin has two official members. Ascension and Iberia Parishes endorsed before the three candidates declared their candidacy or qualified to run in the closed primary. St. Charles Parish never contacted the Downer campaign to participate in their endorsement process. Several attempts to get a list of St. John PEC members, the process followed, and a copy of the minutes of the endorsement meeting have failed.
“Jeff Landry hired anyone he could to get this endorsement. Jeff’s campaign manager is the former political director of the LAGOP, his regional director is the Chairmen of the Iberia PEC (of which Jeff is a member), and another Landry regional director is on the Republican State Central Committee. One of the PECs didn’t even exist until they sat around a table to endorse Jeff without speaking to us, two PECs have one member, and several failed to contact the other campaigns and follow a fair and open endorsement process. It must have been a pretty tense argument for the one member of the St. James and Assumption Parish PECs over who to endorse. The state party’s eight member committee just undermined their own closed primary system they fought diligently to have, hold, and protect. This supposedly elite group of party insiders thinks they can handpick the Republican nominee. Jeff has touted himself as a ‘man of the people’ but he just became the handpicked, back room establishment candidate,” said Buddy Boe, Downer’s campaign manager.
“The Republican Party fought to have the closed primary system and I intend to let the voters endorse their candidate on October 2nd. Their endorsement is the one I care about. Jeff campaigned longer, spent more money, and more than half of the voters still chose another candidate,” said Hunt Downer.