- Associated Press - Sunday, July 6, 2014

MONROE, La. (AP) - Monroe’s Democratic mayor, Jamie Mayo, says he’s going to try to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister and hopes Democrats will unite behind him.

“If we rally as a party behind one candidate, we will make the runoff and I believe have a great chance to win the election,” Mayo told The News-Star (https://bit.ly/VQi3LI ) on Saturday.

Mayo was among three Democrats in last fall’s special primary for the 5th District seat. He finished with 15 percent of the vote, behind McAllister’s 18 percent and 32 percent for another Republican, Sen. Neil Riser of Columbia.

McAllister, who won the runoff with 60 percent of the vote, is running for re-election in spite of calls for his resignation from GOP leaders after grainy security footage surfaced showing him kissing a female aid. McAllister is married.

Louisiana Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirstin Alvanitakis (al-VAN-ih-TAH-kis) has said the party cannot technically “clear the field” for Mayo. She did say party leadership would encourage support for a single candidate.

Democratic state Rep. Robert Johnson, who got 10 percent of the primary vote, hasn’t decided whether to try again. State Rep. Marcus Hunter, who had 3 percent, is not running for Congress.

Libertarian Clay Grant of Boyce has said he is running. So have four Republicans: Dr. Ralph Abraham, of Alto; Monroe businessman Harris Brown; Zach Dasher of Calhoun, who has “Duck Dynasty” family support; and former Grant Parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley, of Alexandria.

Mayo said he has scheduled news conferences Wednesday in Monroe and Alexandria, the 5th District’s two largest cities, to officially announce his candidacy.


Information from: The News-Star, https://www.thenewsstar.com

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