Louisiana Republicans happily note that Hurricane Katrina has provided them an opportunity to win top elective offices – notably the mayorship of New Orleans and the Governorship of Louisina -- their party has rarely held since Reconstruction.
The Mayorship of New Orleans
The Mayorship of New Orleans has only been held once by a Republican. However, next year, this could change.
Peggy Wilson, a Republican and former New Orleans City Council president, has started is raising money for a potential bid to unseat New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, a Democrat, in February. She anaylses:
"I think the numbers show a small window of opportunity for a Republican candidate to win."
The Governorship of Louisiana
At least two republicans are eyeing the Governor’s mansion, home to only two Republicans since the Civil War.
Congressman Bobby Jindal, who narrowly lostthe governor's race two years ago and who has support of the socially centrist Republicans in charge of the state party, and Senator David Vitter, who has a strong conservative network which allowed him to become the first Republican from Louisiana since Reconstruction to win a seat in the US Senate, are both said to be eyeing the governorship. David Vitter recently commented that the Democratic state officials' efforts after the hurricane that it is easy for him to "look like a giant in a land of pygmies."
Leading Louisianan Republican stategist, Jeff Crouere, has called Governor Blano “ a gone pecan," saying that “Republicans see a real opportunity to change the whole dynamics of the city," and thus state.
Democrats can’t give up on Louisina—Republicans aren’t and it’s too important.