- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana’s first black Republican state senator since Reconstruction is accusing Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of using the black community for votes and providing nothing in return.

State Sen. Elbert Guillory, R-Opelousas, who switched to the GOP last year after being elected as a Democrat, released an online video Tuesday saying Landrieu has done little to help Louisiana’s black residents during her three terms in office.

In the video released by his political action committee, Guillory tells black voters: “You are just a means to an end - so that she remains in power.”

He cites high unemployment rates and high poverty rates for African-Americans and disproportionate numbers of black men in jail. He says Landrieu promised to be a champion for the black community but hasn’t delivered.

“While you scrounge together food stamps to buy Kool-Aid, she sips champagne at cocktail parties. While you dig through the couch looking for gas money, she flies around in private jets funded by taxpayer dollars,” Guillory says in the video.

Landrieu said Guillory “is full of a lot of hot air.”

“He’s part of a propaganda machine that is going in the state trying to discredit my record. It’s harder and harder to do because my record is so clear on fighting for working people, people of modest incomes, all people,” the incumbent senator said.

She talked of her support for a minimum wage increase, for the federal health care law and its Medicaid expansion for the working poor, for cuts to the interest rates charged on college student loans and for increases in federal higher education grants.

Landrieu is in a tight race for re-election, targeted by the GOP as it tries to regain control of the U.S. Senate. She faces two main Republican challengers, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy and retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness.

Guillory has said he is considering running for lieutenant governor next year.

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