We’ve been watching Louisiana Senate District 22 for a while. Let’s admit it – we’ve all been not wanting to watch now for way too long. The Louisiana Majority Leader, Blake Miguez (R 9/10), who is top ranked on our scorecard, has mysteriously drawn a competitor. When that happens, the first question I have is, why?
You may remember the governor’s poll we ran a few months ago. You, like everyone else, was probably paying all of your attention to just how far ahead Jeff Landry had become. It’s one of the nifty reasons we ran the poll. However, there is a deeper, much more important metric. Nearly seventy-percent of the state thought the legislature mishandled the budget process.
Apparently we weren’t the only ones paying attention. Hugh Andre (R 3/10) must have been watching, too. All of his cronies who reach out to us cite the poll we did as proof positive that we need to replace the entire legislature. That includes Blake Miguez (R 9/10) who voted against exceeding the state’s spending cap. It was Miguez’s vote that seventy-percent in our poll agreed with. And yet, Hugh Andre’s people have lumped him with the likes of Clay Schexnayder (R 1/10), Paula Davis (R 3/10), and Page Cortez (R 1/10), all of whom voted to empty the state treasury, and all of whom support Hugh Andre (R 3/10).
Where have we heard this name before?
We’ve talked about Hugh Andre before. Port of Iberia director, Craig Romero, continues to be a big help to Hugh’s campaign. That’s even though his employment contract specifically limits Romero’s political involvement to zero. Lately there seems to be an ever increasing amount of terrible information coming out about him.
Our friends over at the Hayride have noticed several oddities. The Good Ol’ Boy Network Sure Picked A Winner In Hugh Andre is one. Another is Hugh Andre’s Foreign-Campaign-Worker Problem. That last one suggests Hugh Andre (R 3/10) has actually violated federal law by using foreign nationals to work on his political campaign for public office.
Does Hugh Andre even live in the district?
Earlier today I was inspired to “address” this issue after a quick trot to my mailbox. There, I discovered a mailer from Hugh that said he is “very proud to be a life-long resident of District 22.” That didn’t pass the smell test, so I started digging. My research suggests that he actually lives in Youngsville, which is part of Senate District 23. That’s Page Cortez’s (R 1/10) term limited seat. If a guy wants to get involved in the Senate, running for an open seat is easier than facing an incumbent or a well established public servant. So why doesn’t he just run in Senate 23?
Well, Jean-Paul Coussan (R 4/10) was hand-picked to replace Page Cortez (R 1/10). We know this because poor Stuart Bishop (R 5/10) was drawn out of the district. It’s unknown whether Page Cortez’s (R 1/10) wanted Bishop to run for Fred Mills’ (R 2/10) term limited Senate 22 seat or just wanted Bishop excluded from running against Coussan. Either way, mission accomplished as Coussan was unopposed and will be the next Senator from district 23.
Bishop eliminated – but doesn’t Hugh Andre also live in 23?
This is where it gets interesting. Hugh Andre (who is reportedly a fairly wealthy guy) is registered to vote out in the middle of nowhere. There’s not even a house on the property. The only thing that could conceivably be used as sleeping quarters appears to be one of those oilfield style portable offices. However, it’s nowhere nice enough for company.
According to the Lafayette Tax assessor, Hugh Andre (R 3/10) does also own a very nice, half-million dollar house in Youngsville. The voter rolls say that the only person living at that Youngsville address is Hugh’s nineteen year old son, Junior. That’s a really swanky place for a teenager to live alone, don’t you think?
Just to be sure the home was in district 23, and not 22, we pulled up Junior’s voter information from the Geaux Vote app. Yep, it says right there (as of a few minutes ago) that the house is in Senate 23.
More address mysteries
The campaign finance reports have been out for about a week. As is our custom at Citizens for a New Louisiana, we go looking through them best we can. Hugh Andre had a number of donations from trial lawyers, fraud squad members, and even a PAC run by senate president, Page Cortez. In the expenditures, Page Cortez lists Hugh Andre’s address as “unknown.” You can find quite a bit about this and other donations on our Hugh Andre candidate scorecard.
As we continued to look through campaign finance records, another oddity struck our team. Both Hugh Andre (R 3/10) and his opponent, Blake Miguez (R 9/10), state that their campaign account is housed at Community First Bank. That’s not so uncommon. However, the different addresses they list for the primary bank branches are striking. Miguez’s campaign finance report lists his bank address in District 22 in New Iberia. Old Hugh Andre, though, has his bank address listed in District 23 in Youngsville!
What to do?
The truth is, none of this may mean much. However, I believe that Louisiana already has enough shifty politicians pretending to be something they’re not. This looks like exactly the same thing. After all, when “Republicans” like Clay Schexnayder (R 1/10), Paula Davis (R 3/10), and Page Cortez (R 1/10) are supporting an effort to eliminate a true reformer, it should get our attention.