Political newcomer Vance McAllister has beaten State Senator Neil Riser for Rodney Alexanders US 5th District seat. And when I say beaten, I mean with 60% of the vote. Think about that for a minute. Let it sink in. This was McAllister's first political race. McAllister's not a politician, he's a businessman.
And all the cards were stacked to make Riser the winner. Riser had the governor's endorsement, the seat seemed to be Riser's for the asking. We know that Riser was in on the details of Alexander's retirement from Congress, because the day after Alexander announced his retirement, Riser campaign signs started showing up. How many people can get campaign signs designed, printed, and installed in 24 hours. Not many. Riser was able to get it done, if you believe that he made the decision to order signs when Alexander announced his retirement.
A 60% win over an entrenched political machine is huge.
Vance appealed to several constituencies. He appealed to the working man, he appealed to the anti-politician crowd, he appealed to those who dislike Governor Jindal. Some will say that McAllister's election was a rebuke to the Tea Party, but I don't buy that. The Tea Party is fairly undefined, but in its inception it was a backlash against taxes and the political crowd. The only political rally I've ever attended was one where Rodney Alexander was booed from the stage by folks who attended the rally. The Tea Party, as defined by lots of folks, is an unaffiliated conservative movement representing low taxes, small government, individual freedom and personal responsibility. The fact that the name has been co-opted by politicians doesn't change the fact that a lot of folks like me identify with the movement.
Still, congratulations to Vance. He ran a good race and took advantage of a number of different things to put together a winning campaign. He can attribute his win to a backlash against government as much as he can to the endorsement of the Duck Commander crowd. Willie Robertson helped him win, but that wasn't the reason we sent him to Washington.
And, one word of caution. We're watching you. The power and influence in Congress is heady stuff, but if you forget who sent you, we'll send your ass packing without explanation or remorse. We've got high hopes for you, but don't let us down.