Cantor defeat has impacts in Louisiana

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 11, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 11 at 5:52 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS -- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's surprising defeat to a Tea Party-backed challenger in Virginia sent shockwaves through the National Republican establishment.

There were take away lessons in Louisiana where at least three GOP candidates are challenging Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu in this fall's election.

"All politics is local," said Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere. "When you don't pay attention to local, I think he had the eye on being speaker. He was looking at Washington, instead of looking at his home state."

"I think the Tea Party should take heart," said Eyewitness News Political Analyst Clancy DuBos. "They should be encouraged. They should be fired up. This is a great victory for the Tea Party, but it's not something that automatically transfers to Louisiana or anywhere else."

In Virginia, candidates from the same party face each other in closed primary elections. In Louisiana, multiple candidates from multiple parties face off in open primaries.

Still, lesser known Republicans, hoping to beat out Rep. Bill Cassidy to face Landrieu this fall, are encouraged by what happened in Virginia.

"There's a wave moving across the country. The citizens of the United States and here in Louisiana for sure are tired of politics as usual," said candidate Rob Maness. "The lesson to be learned is to take every candidate seriously."

"It just reminds me that in politics anything can happen and the people of this state are going to have their choice," said candidate Paul Hollis. "All the outside groups and all of that can be irrelevant. It just comes down to people in our state deciding on who they want to represent them."

Cantor's loss could be Rep. Steve Scalise's gain as House Republicans pick new leaders. He's now in line for the number three position, majority whip.

"If things work out, he could definitely be in line to be considered for a leadership position," said DuBos. "If he gets a leadership position, it's only a matter of time before he becomes speaker."

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