What do the South Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, the National Cotton Council of America and Jackson Offshore Operators all have in common? Their political action affiliates are contributing in Louisiana’s Second Congressional District race, according to the latest federal campaign finance reports released Monday (March 8).
State Sen. Troy Carter continues to lead the 15-person field in fundraising with a total of $914,444.70 raised to date, including $509,326.70 during this reporting period. After having spent $596,543.35, Carter reports $291,613.85 remaining cash on hand. He has received $104,551 in PAC contributions.
State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson has raised a total of $704,634.63 including $402,994.14 most recently. Carter Peterson also received $47,000 in PAC contributions. After spending $516,282.85 this period, Carter Peterson has $207,654.20 in remaining funds.
Both Carter and Carter Peterson have received donations from several of the same political action committees including the Jones Walker PAC, American Association for Justice PAC, and Louisiana for American Security PAC.
Carter Peterson is also being supported by the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC, American Mosaic PAC, and Our Revolution. Carter’s PAC donors include postal supervisors, optometrists, Turkish lawyers, seafarers, laborers, electrical workers, and employees of Acadian Ambulance.
Members of the business community have been making donations to both candidates. They include Russ Herman, Alden McDonald, Lindsey Cheek, James Williams, Henry Coaxum, Rodney Braxton, John Carmouche, Greg Phillips, Severti Wilson, Bill Goldring, Paul Rainwater, Ray Manning, Rod West and Ochsner CEO Warner Thomas.
Ochsner had always been a big supporter of former Second District Rep. Cedric Richmond. Several Ochsner senior managers and physicians are donors to Carter in this cycle. Mayor LaToya Cantrell insider Bob Tucker is a Carter donor in this round. Two of Cantrell’s top staff, city attorney Sunni LeBouef and CAO Gilbert Montano, have donated to Carter Peterson.
Carter’s top donors — those who have given in excess of the $2,800 primary limit — include Anthony Irpino, Glenn Smith, Calvin and Frances Fayard, Chris Bardwell, Hicham Khodr, Dan and Susan Robin, Alton and Allison Ashy, Carl Hodge, Teddy Price, Robert Savoie, Frank DeSalvo, Phyllis Taylor, Joe Georgusis and the Laborde Marine family. Other donors of interest include the Tunica Biloxi and Coushatta tribes.
Carter’s expenditures include Teddlie Stuart Media Partners and Victoria Coulon, Capture Connect Media, Multi-Quest, SKDKnickerbocker LLC, Greg Rigamer, Last Word Strategies and Brandon Guichard.
Carter Peterson enjoys the financial support of Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications; Stacey Abrams; Donna Brazile and other powerful women. Her donors above the $2,800 level include Angela O’Byrne, Brian Egana, Tyon Jones, LeTu Huynh and David Huynh. Other high dollar donors in this round are Germaine Davillier, Catherine Cates, Joyce Aboussie, Merle Chambers, Bakari Sellers, Melissa Mullinax, Latonya Henderson and Cesar Burgos.
Carter Peterson’s biggest expenditures were to Washington, D.C.’s The New Media Firm which has been producing and placing her commercials, as well as to Hit Strategies, a Capitol Hill millennial and minority-owned public opinion research firm. Carter Peterson paid Hit Strategies $35,100, though the results from their polling was never released.
Baton Rouge activist Gary Chambers Jr. raised $303,618.18 in this cycle and $410,081.85 overall. With expenditures of $266,294.34, Chambers is reporting $115,373.27 cash on hand. He has not received any PAC contributions.
Chambers has more than 4,000 donors but most reside outside Louisiana. His in-state contributors include chef Nina Compton, clinical psychologist Stephen Anen, property agent Jennifer Walner, developer Bradly Brown, clinic director Erica Carter, attorney Ronald Haley Jr., social worker Portia Henderson, and hemp salesman Justin Hewitt.
Desiree Ontiveros raised $40,256.63 and has $13,696.49 on hand. She received one PAC contribution of $250. Republican candidate Claston Bernard raised $112,965 including $12,000 from PACs. He reported $38,472.76 remaining cash.
While early voting began Saturday (March 6), voter turnout has been exceedingly low. Only 13,340 voters district-wide (out of almost 800,000) early voted during the first two days. That tally includes 8,262 who voted by mail and 5,078 who voted in person.
The turnout was highest among African-Americans voters, women and those over the age of 65. Turnout was strongest in Orleans Parish (41.85%) with Jefferson (24.06%), East Baton Rouge (12.05%) and the other seven parishes lagging behind.
Early voting continues through March 13 with the election on March 20.
Danae Columbus, who has had a 30-year career in politics and public relations, offers her opinions on Thursdays. Her career includes stints at City Hall, the Dock Board and the Orleans Parish School Board and former clients such as District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, City Councilman Jared Brossett, City Councilwoman at-large Helena Moreno, Foster Campbell, former Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, former Sheriff Charles Foti and former City Councilwomen Stacy Head and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. She is a member of the Democratic Parish Executive Committee. Columbus can be reached at email@example.com.