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Check out the website https://lenspoliticalnotes.com Political Note #189 Doug Jones Alabama, Political Note #248 Al Gross Alaska, Political Note #295 John Hickenlooper Colorado, Political Note #221 Mark Kelly Arizona, Political Note #283 Jon Ossoff Georgia (A), Political Note #269 Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock Georgia(B), Political Note #320 Paulette Jordan Idaho, Political Note #242 Theresa Greenfield Iowa, Political Note #262 Barbara Bollier Kansas, Political Note #255 Amy McGrath Kentucky, Political Note #330 Adrian Perkins Louisiana, Political Note #236 Sara Gideon Maine, Political Note #225 Gary Peters Michigan, Political Note #239 Mike Espy Mississippi, Political Note #279 Steve Bullock Montana, Political Note #250 Cal Cunningham North Carolina, Political Note #311 Abby Broyles Oklahoma, Political Note #217 Jaime Harrison South Carolina, Political Note #328 Dan Ahlers South Dakota, Political Note #316 Marquita Bradshaw Tennessee, Political Note #291 MJ Hegar Texas, Political Note #307 Paula Jean Swearengin West Virginia, Political Note #329 Merav Ben-David Wyoming.
100620 Political Note #326 Adrian Perkins US Senate Louisiana
2020 General election
Louisiana is different from other states. It will have a non-partisan primary on November 3, a primary to choose the top two candidates. If no candidate gets a majority of the total vote on November 3, there will be a run-off election on December 5. Can Adrian Perkins come in second while keeping the Incumbent Bill Cassidy under 50%?
There are a lot of candidates. Two Republicans are competing – the incumbent Bill Cassidy and a welder. Five Democrats are competing — among them Adrian Perkins, the Mayor of Shreveport. The rest includes a teacher and a non-profit head. Seven independent candidates are on the list – among them a librarian, a restaurateur, and an organic farmer. The Libertarian is a neurosurgeon. National Democrats believe Adrian Perkins will emerge in November as Bill Cassidy’s opponent and will be formidable in December.
Adrian Perkins is not a patient man. He has learned to be patient when he had to be. Grandchild of sharecroppers, he had an indominable mother to learn from. Alone with three boys, she worked, went to school, and expected a lot from her kids.
Through an enrichment program, Adrian Perkins went to a high school across town – more prosperous and whiter than the school he would ordinarily have attended. He played football and basketball, debated, and ran track. He ran the 800 because he wasn’t fast enough as a sprinter. Outside coaching helped him master the 800 so well that he was all-state in Louisiana and recruited by colleges. Debate may have been more important. An observer once noted for him that his was a “perfect rebuttal,” that she could see him in a court room.
First the army. A junior in high school on 9/11, he decided on the army in response. Recruited by Ivy League Schools as an athlete and a student, recruited by SEC schools for an athletic scholarship, his enlisted-man older brother urged him to become an officer. West Point was the route. Awarded a Pat Tillman Scholarship for graduate school and interviewed for a Tillman Foundation newsletter, he recalled that West Point was very tough for him. He had a lot to catch up on after a high school education that was not demanding. As tough as West Point was for him, he stood out. He was the first African American to be elected president of his West Point class.
Adrian Perkins was patient enough to more than fulfill his military obligation to West Point. He stayed in the army a year longer than he had to so that he could leave as a Captain who had had a command. When he considered his options, he thought about how to return home to Shreveport. A return home would be a long time coming if he made the army his career. Business School was the most common option for officers leaving the army. He chose law school and the law because of the geographic flexibility it permitted. He recalled the remark about his rebuttal. Harvard Law School chose him. He stood out again – as a Tillman Scholar and President of his class.
Adrian Perkins is not a patient man. In 2018, at age 33, having graduated from Harvard Law School, he returned to Shreveport and ran for mayor. He led the field including the incumbent mayor Ollie Tyler, with 29% of the vote. He defeated the mayor in the December run-off, getting 64% of the vote.
The mayor was 74. She had become vulnerable as information came out about her past. Sad, really. She had had a remarkable career as a teacher, principal, and superintendent – recognized as Louisiana’s most outstanding superintendent in 2007. As a young woman, people learned, she had shot and killed her abusive husband. The shooting had been ruled, oddly, as both accidental and justified. She had wanted to escape that life and did until it came back to haunt her 50 years later.
Becoming mayor of Shreveport was not exactly a prize. The eighties that Adrian Perkins was born into had devastated Shreveport. Oil company after oil company left the city during the industry’s down turn. Neither the gambling industry nor the film industry, both of which have prospered in Shreveport, have made the city grow and thrive. Median household income is around $33,000 and Shreveport has a long way to go.
Shreveport has an African-American heritage. A center of African American music in the early 1900s, it was home town to Huddie William Ledbetter (Lead Belly). The Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s had its moments in Shreveport. The home of a Martin Luther King, Jr. supporter was bombed. Sam Cooke and his band were arrested for attempting to register at a white only Holiday Inn.
Adrian Perkin is not a patient man. He made progress in two years – balanced the budget, created jobs and lowered the crime rate. He’ll remain mayor, an office with a four-year term, if he is not elected to the US Senate. He just would not pass up the challenge of running for the US Senate. Don’t expect him to win, but don’t rule him out.
Democratic victories are possible in the Deep South because African-Americans are such a substantial part of the population and create a base to work from. If African-Americans choose to vote and if they are not prevented from voting, Democrats can win in the Deep South. If Democrats can bring along a quarter of the white vote they can win. Louisiana has a Democratic governor who has been elected twice. Nevertheless, winning 25% of the white vote state-wide is a challenge for a Democrat in the Deep South, especially for an African American candidate. Don’t rule Adrian Perkins out.
Can Adrian Perkins raise enough money to take on Bill Cassidy? Can he tap his friends from West Point and his friends from Harvard Law School? Does Bill Cassidy have weaknesses that make success possible?
Bill Cassidy is a lapsed Democrat. He supported Mike Dukakis. He supported Paul Tsongas. Then he stopped. Louisiana was looking Republican. He had grown up in Baton Rouge, went to LSU and LSU Medical School. He met his wife, another doctor, as they did residencies in Los Angeles. They returned to Louisiana where he practiced gastroenterology and she was a surgeon. I asked someone who works with public hospitals about Cassidy. The response: Cassidy has opposed every effort to provide more and better health care for the poor.
Help Adrian Perkins make this a contest. At the beginning of July, Bill Cassidy had $6 million to spend on the rest of his campaign. Adrian Perkins has not reported raising any money. Surely, he will raise some money from West Point and Harvard Law School friends. He’ll need support from the grassroots, too. That you.
There are plenty of Democratic Senate candidates to support (Democrats listed first):
DEMOCRATS ARE AHEAD
Arizona Astronaut Mark Kelly, gun safety leader supported by his wife former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords v. Incumbent and ex fighter pilot Martha McSally. Cash on hand: Mid-September McSally $11 million. Mid-July Kelly $21 million. Polls (Kelly 47-45, 47-42, 49-44, 50-44, 51-41, 51-48, 49-40, 51-42, 48-45, 55-43, 47-38, 49-41)
Colorado Former Governor John Hickenlooper v Incumbent attorney and party activist Senator Cory Gardner. July 24 Cash on hand: Gardner $10.7 million, Cash on Hand June 30 Hickenlooper $4.5 million, Polls: (Hickenlooper 48-39, 49-42, 52-42, 51-46, 49-39)
Iowa Businesswoman and civic leader Theresa Greenfield v incumbent Joni Ernst. June 30 Cash on hand: Ernst $9.1 Million, Greenfield $5.6 Million, Polls: (Greenfield 47-43, 49-46, 50-45, 44-42, 46-45, 51-39, 48-47, 49-46, 42-40, 45-42) (Tied 48-48, 47-47)(Ernst 48-44)
Maine Speaker of the ME House, Sara Gideon v sometimes moderate incumbent Susan Collins. Cash on hand: Sept 30 Collins $5.6 Million, June 30 Gideon $5.4 Million (Gideon 44-43,50-46, 45-41, 49-42, 46-41 Tied 42-42)
Michigan Incumbent Democrat Gary Peters has a tough opponent in African-American Businessman John James. Mid-July Cash on hand: Peters $11.6 Million, Johnson $9.2 Million. Polls: (Peters 47-44, 43-42, 48-42, 45-40, 48-46, 51-43, 50-43, 45-40, 48-41, 47-47, 46-41) (Teid 47-47)
North Carolina. Businessman, environmentalist, and veteran, Cal Cunningham v Incumbent Thom Tillis. June 30 Cash on Hand: Tillis $6.9 Million, Cunningham $6.6 Million. Polls: (Cunningham 50-39, 50-46, 47-42, 48-47, 48-42, 54-41, 53-41)
RACES THAT ARE CLOSE TO EVEN
Alaska Physician and Commercial Fisherman Al Gross v. incumbent Dan Sullivan. July 31: Sullivan’s cash on hand $5.3 million. Gross’s cash on hand $3 million. Polls: (Sullivan 48-44, 46-45) (Tied 42-42)
Georgia (A) Jon Ossoff v incumbent David Perdue. Cash on Hand June 30. Perdue $10.7 Million, Ossoff $2.5 Million,. Polls: (Perdue 47-46, 49-41, 49-46, 47-42, 41-38, 43-41) (Ossoff 44-43, 47-42, 48-46, 49-48) (Tied 44-44)
Kansas Physician and former Republican State Senator Barbara Boliier v. Congressman Roger Marshall. Cash on hand: July 15 Bollier $4.1 Million, Sept 8 Marshall $1 Million Polls (Marshall 50-43, 43-39) (Bollier 45-42, 45-43) (Tied 42-42)
South Carolina Former Party Chair Jaime Harrison v incumbent, former moderate Republican Lindsay Graham. June 30 Cash on hand Graham $15 Million, Harrison $10.2 Million. Polls: (Graham 47-46, 45-44, 46-45) (Harrison 45-43) (Tied 48-48)
REPUBLICANS ARE AHEAD
Five candidates. The top two will be in a run off. Three Democrats: The Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock, Senior Pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta, Businessman Matt Lieberman, ex US Attorney Ed Tarver. Two Republicans: Incumbent Kelly Loeffler, Congressman Doug Collins. The top two on November 3 go on to a runoff. June 30 Cash on hand: Loeffler $7 Million, Warnock $2.9 Million, Collins $2.6 Million, Lieberman $300,000 Polls: September (1) Warnock 36, Loeffler 26, Collins 23, Lieberman 3 (2) Warnock 42, Loeffler 24, Collins 22, Lieberman 3 (3) Warnock 28, Loeffler 22, Collins 21, Tarver 4, Lieberman 3 (4) Warnock 26, Loeffler 25, Collins 16, Lieberman 16 (5) Warnock 31, Loeffler 23, Collins 22, Lieberman 9, Tarver 4
Kentucky Retired Marine Pilot Amy McGrath and conservative Democrat v Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Cash on hand: September 30 McConnell $16.6 Million, June 30 McGrath $16.2 Million. Polls: (McConnell 48-41, 46-39, 52-37, 53-41)
Mississippi Ex Member of Congress and Ex Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy v Incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith. June 30 Cash on hand: Hyde-Smith $1.2 Million, Espy $680,000. Polls: (Hyde-Smith 41-40, 54-28, 47-42)
Montana Steve Bullock, Democratic Governor of Montana versus corporate-oriented incumbent Steve Daines. June 30 Cash on hand: Daines $7.1 Million, Bullock $7.6 Million. Polls: (Daines 52-43, 49-45, 45-44, 50-47) (Bullock 48-47) (Tied 48-48)
Texas Military Helicopter Pilot MJ Hegar v Incumbent John Cornyn. June 30 Cash on hand: Cornyn $14.5 Million, M. J. Hegar $900,000 Polls: (Cornyn 50-42, 47-46, 45-42, 50-40, 40-38, 50-42, 45-39)
REPUBLICANS ARE FARTHER AHEAD
Alabama Incumbent ex US Attorney and Prosecutor of KKK members Doug Jones v former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville. Cash on hand. June 30 Jones $8.8 Million. August 18 Tuberville $550,000. Polls: (Tuberville 54-42, 52-34)
Oklahoma Television journalist Abby Broyles v Incumbent Jim Inhofe Cash on hand: August 10 Inhofe $2.2 million, June 30 Broyles $200,000. Polls (Inhofe 48-30, 57-33)
OTHER RACES WORTH MENTIONING, WORTH DONATING JUST TO MAKE THE RACES A LITTLE CLOSER
Arkansas Prison chaplain and Libertarian Ricky Harrington v Incumbent Tom Cotton. Cash on hand June 30. Cotton. $6 million. Harrington $4,000. Polls Cotton 49-38
Idaho Former state senator Paulette Jordan versus incumbent James Risch. June 30: Rish cash on hand $2.4 million. Paulette Jordan $70,000. Polls (Rish 53-28)
Louisiana Mayor Adrian Perkins v Incumbent Bill Cassidy. Beginning of July Cassidy had $6 million. Perkins has not reported. Polls: None
South Dakota, Businessman Dan Ahlers v Incumbent Mike Rounds. March 31 Cash on hand: Ahlers $50,000. Rounds $2 Million. Polls: None
Tennessee Memphis-based African-American environmental justice activist Marquita Bradshaw for an open Republican seat in Tennessee. June 30 July 17 Cash on hand: Bradshaw $1,700 Hagerty $4.1 Million. Polls: None
West Virginia Environmental Activist Paula Jean Swearengin versus incumbent Shelley Moore Capito. June 30 Cash on Hand Swearengin $130,000 Cash on Hand Mid-July Moore Capito had $1.8 million. Polls: None
Wyoming Climate Scientist Merav Ben-David v ex Member of Congress Cynthia Lummis. July 29 Cash on Hand Ben-David $27,000, Lummis $400,000. Polls: None