The race for Congress in the Fourth Congressional District remains interesting, if somewhat confusing because of the rescheduling of the September 6th primary.
It is tentatively rescheduled for October 4th, with early voting scheduled for September 20th through September 27th. The open election would then be held on November 4th, the same date at the presidential election, with early voting held October 21st through October 27th. If a runoff is needed, it would be held the first Saturday in December.
The candidates are chugging ahead, with the three Republicans, Dr. John Fleming, Chris Gorman and Jeff Thompson, each attempting to establish their credentials as more conservative than the others.
Polling for the Republican Primary indicates that Dr. John Fleming is in the lead.
A poll conducted by the Kitchens Group for Paul Carmouche in June showed Fleming with 27%, Gorman at 20% and Thompson 14%.
The latest poll conducted at the end of July by Southern Media and Opinion Research for Fleming shows Fleming with 43%, Gorman with 17% and Thompson with 15%.
Two independents are in the race, Gerard Bowen, Jr. (whom I support) and Chester T. Kelley.
Carmouche Looms Large
On the Democratic side, four contenders are active: Paul Carmouche, John Milkovich, Willie Banks, Jr., and Artis Cash. It is being generally presupposed that Carmouche will win the nomination, and I wouldn't disagree with that. Nor would I disagree with the poll which he commissioned which shows that in the general election, he would defeat any of the three Republicans with leads ranging from 13% to 19%.
The Republicans will have a hard time painting Carmouche with liberal colors. I'm sure they will attempt to do so, as this is the usual modus operandi. In this case, it just won't work. He is well known, having served as DA in Caddo Parish for 30 years, and is generally well thought of. None of the Republican candidates have any experience in public office, and none have the name recognition that Carmouche enjoys. The fourth district is a conservative district, not a Republican district. I suspect that most voters believe that Paul Carmouche has more truly conservative instincts and leanings than any of his Democratic or Republican opponents. Carmouche will not be controlled by the National Party and its leaders. I am not sure that the same could be said for the Republican candidates.
The race belongs to Carmouche at this point.