Senate Could Be Waiting For On TheBayou

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BATON ROUGE, La. - (11/02/04) -- Control of the U.S. Senate couldhang in the balance for another six weeks still, if Louisianavoters are forced to pick their candidates again in a run-offbetween the two leading candidates in Tuesday's three-way election.The unusual non-partisan three-way race, in which a 50%, vote isnecessary to claim victory, could determine which party controlsthe closely divided Senate in the 108th Congress. If none of thethree candidates claims a majority, the top two vote-getters willrun off in a special election in December, just as the top twofaced off in a special election in 2002. The credit union lobby hascareful stayed on the sidelines for this important senate racebecause two of the candidates, Republican Rep. David Vitter andDemocrat Rep. Chris John, have been credit union supporters inCongress, Jeff Brooks, lobbyist for the Louisiana CU League, toldThe Credit Union Journal. The two, along with Democrat JohnKennedy, are vying to succeed Democrat John Breaux, who is retiringafter three terms. Vitter and John's senate bid, along with theretirement of long-time Rep. Bill Tauzin gives the state three openHouse seats. Credit unions are weighing in in two of the races;supporting Republican Bobby Jindal, former president of theUniversity of Louisiana System, for Vitter's first district seat;and Democratic State Sen. Willie Mount, for John's seventh districtseat. Credit unions have not endorsed a candidate in the race tosucceed Tauzin, where his son, Wilbert 'Billy' Tauzin III is one ofsix candidates, because several candidates are credit unionfriends, said Brooks, who predicted a December run-off in two ofthe three races.

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