In addition to the all-important runoff for governor, several other key races are on the Nov. 21 ballot. In those remaining races, Gambit makes the following endorsements:
The job of Louisiana's lieutenant governor is twofold: be ready to step up and become governor if there's a vacancy in that office; and oversee the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. We like both candidates who made the runoff for this office, but we give the nod to former Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. Nungesser has a passion for all things Louisiana and a proven record of standing up for what he believes is right and saying what's on his mind. During the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, he was the face not only of his parish but all of coastal Louisiana — and he gave voice to the frustrations of millions affected by the disaster. He will bring that kind of leadership to an office that was well-served by Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.
The attorney general is the state's chief legal officer, and a job that important cannot be entrusted to someone who lacks real courtroom experience. Incumbent Buddy Caldwell has decades of experience as a prosecutor, and his office has recouped billions in damage awards for the state by pursuing environmental and pharmaceutical violators. Caldwell's runoff opponent, former Congressman Jeff Landry, literally has never tried a criminal case before a jury. This one should be an easy choice for voters: Caldwell for attorney general.
West Bank Flood
Voters in Algiers and on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish will decide the fate of separate but related flood protection millage propositions. In Algiers, voters are asked to renew a 6.35-mill property tax to support the Algiers Levee District. In West Jefferson, voters will decide whether to approve a new 5.5-mill property tax to maintain post-Hurricane Katrina infrastructure investments in the West Jefferson Levee District. Both millages would take effect in 2016 and remain in place for 30 years, expiring in 2045. The proposed property taxes will pay for critical flood protection projects, and we urge our readers on the West Bank to vote "Yes" for that protection.