Well, it’s official. Kyle Ardoin is not running for re-election. He released a statement to USA Today, and a variety of other outlets. The Daily Advertiser article cites health concerns as the primary reason for his departure. However, what he actually said in closing was quite telling.
I hope that Louisianans of all political persuasions will stand against the pervasive lies that have eroded trust in our elections by using conspiracies so far-fetched that they belong in a work of fiction. The vast majority of Louisiana’s voters know that our elections are secure and accurate, and it is shameful and outright dangerous that a small minority of vocal individuals have chosen to denigrate the hard work of our election staff and spread unproven falsehoods.
From this, any reasonable person would gather that fringe elections groups have caused him such unreasonable amounts of stress that it’s affected his health. He’s relatively young, and has yet to even complete one full term. In fact, he came up in the Secretary of State organization long before he ran for the top spot. While not necessarily a “movement conservative” he has maintained what I believe to be a very reasonable, measured, and non-partisan approach to the job. To see him not run for re-election due to relentless vicious attacks is sad.
Those pesky unintended consequences
We’re hearing from concerned citizens, just like you, who have been frustrated with their government and have decided to try and do something about it. From shutting down Churches and businesses to arresting people for “trespassing” because they don’t have masks on. There’s also the bottomless pit of useless porkbarrel spending while entropy degrades once paved roads into something worse than gravel. Government promotion of erotica to children, throwing large drag queen parties for children at taxpayer expense, firing people from their jobs for wanting to make their own healthcare decisions. The list is endless, all the while the egregious, unchecked behavior of our government keeps getting worse.
These good people are walking neighborhoods and knocking on doors. They’re asking for people to vote for them. They’re running for city council, parish council, school board, legislature. “I’m asking for your vote” is met with what would have been a ridiculous response only a short time ago.
I truly believe the biggest threat that we face as Republicans and conservatives are these election deniers telling people that their vote doesn’t matter. So many people tell me that at the door. It’s amazing. I don’t argue with them but I do try to give them some hope.
This garbage has taken a toll
We now have overwhelming (albeit anecdotal) proof that this relentless attack on our elections system has had its intended effect. We have the sixth best voting system in the nation. When was the last time you heard we had the sixth best anything? And yet, their relentless assault on it has caused people to doubt everything they once trusted. Perhaps that was their goal all along. Now candidates are wondering if conservatives will even show up to vote! These are the kinds of consequences that radicalized attacks on our Secretary of State have had on regular citizens.
Personally, I can’t think of a single better way to embolden the Democrats and the left, who show up to vote like it’s their religion. In Louisiana, they even show up knowing they will probably lose. That’s what happened in 2019 when everyone said John Bel Edwards can’t win in a red state like Louisiana. That wasn’t election fraud, by the way. You don’t even have to take my word for it. Scott McKay over at the Louisiana Hayride said it better than I ever could.
Jefferson is the most populous parish in the state. It’s also a place where Republicans, many of them ridiculous RINO’s but Republicans nonetheless, run everything. Jefferson votes Republican in pretty significant numbers. In 2020, Donald Trump beat Joe Biden 55-44 in Jefferson. Bill Cassidy got 56 percent of the vote in that same election. John Kennedy got 58 percent of the vote in Jefferson last year and Scalise got 72 percent.
Democrats aren’t going to rig an election in Jefferson Parish. And yet Edwards won 57-43 there.
That’s not cheating. What’s going on there is the massive underperformance of a Republican candidate. And to waste time worrying about a stolen election is not to address why you’re losing.
Instead we get tinfoil hat stuff about stolen elections.
Which is to say, they keep getting away with it because we waste our time looking at stupid things.
How is this current governor’s race any different than the last? The names are different, but the tactics are the same: disenfranchising the Republican voters is the only way Democrats can win.
What promoting fear has wrought
There will be future weedy articles and / or videos about these ridiculous election claims. In fact, I’ve been invited all across the state to show people what truth is available by taking even a casual look at this nonsense. For now, though, I think it’s important to acknowledge that the actions of this microscopic minority group has thrown the future of our entire elections systems into question.
Fresh off the heals of re-election to the Public Service Commission, Mike Francis has said he’s planning to run for Secretary of State. According to the Advocate, Francis was asked to run by the Clerks of Court. During the Voting Systems Commission hearings, the clerks and registrars expressed concern over moving to a paper-based system. It’s entirely possible that, if Francis wins, the Clerk’s Association (who asked him to run) could resist the change to the point that it doesn’t happen.
However, the big news is what the foolhardy election activists did not predict (but should have). Louisiana’s premiere RINO, Clay Schexnayder (1/10), has announced his candidacy for Secretary of State. You’ll remember he was elected to be Speaker of the House thanks the efforts of John Bel Edwards and a super-minority (but united) Democratic party in the legislature. Greg Hilburn recently tweeted that Schexnayder has nearly a million dollars in his combined campaign war chest. A million dollars.
Breathing new life into a RINOs final moments
This could have been a relatively tame Secretary of State’s race, where Kyle Ardoin just walks right back into office as a very capable incumbent. However, the brutal poison thrust at what I’ll call a tender-hearted bureaucrat turned politician has smashed that prospect into a thousand little pieces. If the dread of the unknown hasn’t yet seeped into the thick skulls of this vicious group, then it will soon enough. As of December 31st, the scorched earth group’s preferred candidate had only raised $30,000.
Their blind range prevented them from seeing anything else – including that stone-hearted candidate looking for someplace to land. Their “success” has been to put enough blood in the water to attract a huge shark. Clay Schexnayder was term limited – done – with nowhere else to go. He was quickly running out of options. Now, this master of shady, self-serving dealmaking has a plan and somewhere to invest that million dollars.
He has built-in name-ID across the entire state of Louisiana. I know what you’re thinking, “he’s terrible!” That may be. However, only deep politicos who pay an unhealthy degree of attention to policy know this. He is the most powerful Republican in the entire legislature. As such, local Republican women groups LOVE him. For example, just the other day Schexnayder received a hero’s welcome at the Mandeville Republican Women’s club. Even more recently, the Rapides Republican Women’s club honored him. Then there’s the River Region Republican Women’s club. We can’t forget about the Livingston Parish Republican Women’s club and the Baton Rouge Republican Women’s club.
I could go on for days with example after example. Add to this, the vicious “Get Kyle” group that we have to thank for Schexnayder entering the race has become persona non grata with all of the Republican Women groups. If they call yelling about Schexnayer (as they did with Ardoin) nobody will be listening. Suffice it to say, I wouldn’t underestimate Clay Schexnayder’s chances.