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U.S. Senate '04: Four Down, Two More to Go?
HUMAN EVENTS ^ | Sep 23, 2003 | John Gizzi

Posted on 09/24/2003 9:40:29 AM PDT by Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS

Four of the 34 U.S. Senators up for election next year have announced their exiting--Zell Miller (Ga.), John Edwards (S.C.), and Ernest Hollings (S.C.), Democrats all, and Republican Peter Fitzgerald (Ill.)

Now, signs are ominous that the next two senatorial shoes to drop will be those of Republican Don Nickles (Okla.) and Democrat John Breaux (La.). Word on the D.C. cocktail circuit over the weekend was that four-termer and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Nickles was anxious to make more money in the private sector, as was Breaux (who has been courted for every seven-figure lobbying job from legislative pointman of the Recording Industry Association of America to succeeding Jack Valenti as head of the Motion Picture Association of America).

Democratic Rep. Brad Carson, one of his party's few bright lights in the Sooner State, has signaled he will run for the Senate if Nickles bails. Similarly, Republican Rep. Ernest Istook, stalwart conservative and key Appropriations Committee Member, wants to run, while former Rep. J.C. Watts, the last black Republican in the House, is also being touted for an open Senate seat (although Watts-watchers say that he is thoroughly enjoying his current niche as chairman of Newt Gingrich's old GOPAC and corporate board member). All bets are off on the Republican side if popular former two-term Gov. Frank Keating decides to forego his current job as head of the American Council of Life Insurers and return to the hustings.

Louisiana Democrats insist that Breaux will hold off an announcement until at least November to pump up friend and fellow Democrat, Rep. Chris John, for succession; the near-certain GOP candidate is staunch conservative Rep. David Vitter. Louisiana is the lone Southern State not to have elected a Republican senator since Reconstruction.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Louisiana; US: Oklahoma
KEYWORDS: 2004; breaux; donnickles; ernesthollings; johnbreaux; johnedwards; nickles; peterfitzgerald; zellmiller
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JC Watts Companies : Welcome

What Color Is A Conservative? By JC Watts

How does an African American man raised in a family of Democrats on the poor side of the tracks in little Eufaula, Oklahoma, become a conservative and the first to hold a Republican Party leadership position in the history of the U.S. Congress?

In What Color Is a Conservative?, J. C. Watts, Jr., shares the remarkable story of his life and the controversy of his independent views. The fifth of six children, Watts was raised by parents who taught him the value of faith, family, hard work, and personal responsibility. As Eufaula and the nation struggled to integrate, Watts saw his father and uncle take on the local establishment to end segregation in his hometown, and he made history on his own as one of the first two black children to integrate the town's all–white elementary school.

But it was J. C.'s outstanding football talent that earned him a scholarship and a quarterback spot on Coach Barry Switzer's legendary Oklahoma Sooners. He went on to lead the team to back–to–back conference championships and Orange Bowl titles. After graduation, Watts opted to play in the Canadian Football League when the NFL refused to let him play his strength -- quarterback.

After his football career ended, J. C.'s interest in politics began to grow, but he would take a different path. "Like most African Americans," he says, "I was raised in the most partisan of households -- 100 percent Democrat. In fact, every black I knew was a Democrat."

Upon hearing Republicans such as Don Nickles and Jack Kemp espouse the same values as those of his father, he began to consider leaving the Democratic Party. It wasn't easy: "The ties that bind African Americans to the Democrat Party are strong, and I would argue are often based more on geography or tradition than ideology." But change he did, and soon his name was on the ballot. In 1994, as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, he won Oklahoma's mostly white 4th District. That victory brought him national attention as the first black Republican elected to Congress from a southern state since Reconstruction.

During his eight years in Washington, J. C. Watts has not been a typical politician. And in What Color Is a Conservative?, he shows why, taking on what he considers negative forces and entrenched ideas in both parties. While he stands proudly with the GOP, Watts knows that a lot has to change. "The party of Lincoln has in many ways forgotten its roots," he writes. Meanwhile, the Democrats have cheapened the tone of public discourse, choosing character assassination over constructive dialogue, partisanship over unity.

Then there are those who have "driven a wedge between my politics and my people." Watts challenges the nation's traditional black leaders to reject race baiting, black orthodoxy, and victimhood. He protests that when African Americans "stray too far from black orthodoxy, we are punished and isolated in a warped kind of ideological apartheid."

In a life defined by straight talk, J. C. Watts isn't afraid to tackle hot–button issues, his vision for America's future, and his controversial decision to retire from Congress. Inspiring, provocative, and an inside look at the workings of Washington,What Color Is a Conservative? may ruffle a few feathers on the left and the right, but that's exactly what J. C. Watts, Jr., thinks is good for America,

1 posted on 09/24/2003 9:40:29 AM PDT by Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS
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To: Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS; JohnnyZ; Theodore R.; Nathaniel Fischer; AuH2ORepublican; ...
*Ping*!

Looks like Breaux will indeed Geaux.

I'm confident we can retain the Oklahoma seat.

Also watch out for Bob Graham's seat.
2 posted on 09/24/2003 9:46:35 AM PDT by Pubbie ("Last time I checked, he doesn't have a vote" - Tom DeLay on Ari Fleischer's demand for Tax-Rebates)
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To: Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS
John is pretty conservative, for a RAT. But I'd take Vitter anyday. It's no secret that Breaux has been looking to get out of Washington, and might even resign early next year if there's a RAT governor. However, with a GOP candidate leading(barely) in the polls, he will do as the article says, and wait till the last moment. Don't dismiss Suzie Terrell jumping into the fray either.
3 posted on 09/24/2003 9:48:09 AM PDT by ABG(anybody but Gore) (Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a Tagline!)
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To: Pubbie

Also watch out for Bob Graham's seat.
Conservative Watchdog Launches Senate Run

4 posted on 09/24/2003 9:49:03 AM PDT by Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS
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To: Pubbie
I'm confident we can retain the Oklahoma seat.

People said this in 2002 about the OK governorship, when it was vacated by Frank Keating. Didn't happen!
5 posted on 09/24/2003 9:49:38 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS
J. C. Watts isn't afraid to tackle hot–button issues

NO, as I recall, Watts defended affirmative action unless some other government program could be established in its place.
6 posted on 09/24/2003 9:51:09 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS
I'm a Daniel Webster fan myself.

I don't trust Klayman.
7 posted on 09/24/2003 9:51:19 AM PDT by Pubbie ("Last time I checked, he doesn't have a vote" - Tom DeLay on Ari Fleischer's demand for Tax-Rebates)
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To: Theodore R.
I'd like to push J.C. Watts to run...could you imagine the fun of having both Watts and Herman Cain as the only blacks in the Senate? Both as Republicans? ;)
8 posted on 09/24/2003 9:51:39 AM PDT by TheBigB ("Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats." --P.J. O'Rourke)
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To: TheBigB
BUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9 posted on 09/24/2003 9:52:51 AM PDT by Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS
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To: TheBigB
could you imagine the fun of having both Watts and Herman Cain as the only blacks in the Senate? Both as Republicans? ;)

Put 'em both on the Judiciary Committee, and watch the RATS squirm.

10 posted on 09/24/2003 9:54:27 AM PDT by ABG(anybody but Gore) (Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a Tagline!)
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To: Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS
I like Don Nickles.
11 posted on 09/24/2003 9:54:40 AM PDT by Huck
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To: ABG(anybody but Gore)
Isn't J.C. Watts, Sr., still some kind of very partisan and ascerbic Democrat? Do the two get along?
12 posted on 09/24/2003 9:56:23 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Theodore R.
JC Watts Companies : News

Q What's your view of the Michigan affirmative-action case that the Supreme Court is considering? If you were a university admissions officer with a free hand, what criteria would you use?

A I believe affirmative action should be about creating opportunities for all people. I do believe in diversity of color and think it adds value to society. God is a God of diversity. He is the author of our skin color and He made us yellow, brown, black, and white.

I have no problem with using race as a factor, but giving race 20 points and academics eight points seems to me to be a bit out of balance.

I have felt the sting of being left out because of my skin color and I wouldn't want any child to have to feel that hurt. So, therefore, let's not create or encourage a system that a white kid or black kid has to walk away a loser, feeling like he lost based on skin color.

If a white kid, a black kid, or a Hispanic kid stays in school, gets good grades, and wants to continue their education beyond high school, that opportunity should be available.

13 posted on 09/24/2003 9:56:24 AM PDT by Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS
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To: Theodore R.
If that twit Largent had of actually campaigned, he may have won.

But, I'm glad he lost. He's an ass.
14 posted on 09/24/2003 9:59:21 AM PDT by Guillermo ( Proud Infidel)
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To: Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS
It sounds to me from this posting that my recollection of J.C. Watts as a supporter of affirmative action was essentially correct. Some Republican say they are for affirmative action so long as it does not involve quotas, but affirmative action automatically leads to quotas in large institutions.
15 posted on 09/24/2003 10:00:52 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Huck
Apparently, Don Nickles has lost the fire in the belly in politics. He probably sees how difficult it is to make progress in the political arena, and now he wants out while he can earn hundreds of thousands in the private sector.
16 posted on 09/24/2003 10:02:35 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Theodore R.
He may indeed want to make the big $$$, but I think Nichols was more than a little surprised and upset over the Lott affair...he expected at least some support for himself as SML...when it didn't come, he was more than a tad annoyed with his coleagues...BTW..let me remind you of my prediction ..made here several months ago, that if Breaux retires..Donna Brazile runs for the seat...
17 posted on 09/24/2003 10:23:12 AM PDT by ken5050
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: ken5050
if Brazille runs, I think we'll pick up the seat
19 posted on 09/24/2003 10:31:22 AM PDT by votelife (Free Bill Pryor)
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To: votelife
It'l be a tough race..she's an excellent campaigner..LA has the highest % of black voters in the country, and Brazile is superb at getting out the vote...remember, she brokered the last-minute deals that got the vote out for Landriue..which cost Terrell the race...
20 posted on 09/24/2003 10:42:26 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: ken5050
cost Terrell the race

Do you think Terrell's election day "nap" contributed to her defeate? Or was her defeat already written in Louisiana history?
21 posted on 09/24/2003 10:58:58 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Theodore R.
Politics sucks.
22 posted on 09/24/2003 10:59:52 AM PDT by Huck
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To: ABG(anybody but Gore)
Don't dismiss Suzie Terrell jumping into the fray either.

I am dismissing that possibility right now. She's running for AG. If she wins, she'll need to serve out one term, anyway, not just three months! And if she loses, she'll have lost twice in two years and won't get support for anything.

Vitter is basically the Man -- unless Billy Tauzin were to decide to run.

23 posted on 09/24/2003 11:06:36 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (Robot robot robot)
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To: Theodore R.; Pubbie
"I'm confident we can retain the Oklahoma seat.

People said this in 2002 about the OK governorship, when it was vacated by Frank Keating. Didn't happen!"


If a conservative third-party candidate picks up 15% in the Senate race (as he did in the gubernatorial race), then yes, Brad Carson will win it. If not, the GOP nominee will be favored (especially in a presidential year) so long as it's Watts, Istook, Keating or some other high-profile conservative.
24 posted on 09/24/2003 11:08:30 AM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.)
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To: Theodore R.
Apparently, Don Nickles has lost the fire in the belly in politics.

He's already served longer than he intended to in the Senate. Why should he change and become a career politician now?

25 posted on 09/24/2003 11:09:37 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (Robot robot robot)
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To: JohnnyZ
Terrell would have lost no matter what happened. The Democrat fraud machine was cranked up to full strength in New Orleans. The buses were out in the ghettos picking up and paying whoever got on, whether they were actually registered or not, felon or not. They would have come through with as many votes as necessary to defeat her. That said, I believe that Vitter or Terrell are the only candidates that can pick up this seat for us. LA is a tough win for us. Lots of fraud in N.O. and the African-American vote is easy to turn out because it is concentrated in cities like N.O., Shreveport, Monroe, etc. Brazile will not run under any circumstances, she knows better. But any Anglo Democrat will start the race with an advantage over any R just because of the high number of black voters in the state.
26 posted on 09/24/2003 11:14:21 AM PDT by wylenetheconservative
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To: AuH2ORepublican; Theodore R.; JohnnyZ; fieldmarshaldj
"If not, the GOP nominee will be favored (especially in a presidential year) so long as it's Watts, Istook, Keating or some other high-profile conservative."

Watts and Keating are apparently enjoying making money in the private sector, and are unlikely to want to return to politics.

Istook, who I like, is the most likely to run for Nickels' seat.
27 posted on 09/24/2003 11:16:37 AM PDT by Pubbie ("Last time I checked, he doesn't have a vote" - Tom DeLay on Ari Fleischer's demand for Tax-Rebates)
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To: AuH2ORepublican
OK will be no problem in a Senate race. OK is an R state on Federal offices. Will elect a D gov, but not to the Senate. Only one CD will elect a D, and it contains most of the reservations.
28 posted on 09/24/2003 11:17:52 AM PDT by wylenetheconservative
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To: wylenetheconservative
Terrell wasn't a great candidate to start out with. And if she loses this winnable AG race, she's done.
29 posted on 09/24/2003 11:19:26 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (Robot robot robot)
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To: ken5050; votelife
"LA has the highest % of black voters in the country, and Brazile is superb at getting out the vote...remember, she brokered the last-minute deals that got the vote out for Landriue..which cost Terrell the race..."


Yeah, but Brazile won't carry white-majority precincts the way Landrieu did. Remember, Landrieu pretended to be a moderate, lied about her abortion record, put out adds saying she supported Miguel Estrada's nomination and basically fooled Louisianans into thinking she was just like John Breaux. Brazile won't be able to fool them, though.

Chris John, though, would be a tough candidate to beat, even for a good Republican candidate such as Vitter. Unless the jungle primary format is declared unconstitutional (as it should) before the summer of 2004, Brazile wouldn't be able to make the run-off with John and Vitter running. I think our safest bet would be if the jungle primary was declared unconstitutional and only RATs could vote in a RAT primary, giving Brazile the edge over John (and even if John won, black voters may be unenthusiastic in their support for him in the general election). But Vitter would still need to run hard against Brazile, since she's one smart cookie (20 times smarter than Senator Brownroots).
30 posted on 09/24/2003 11:20:27 AM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.)
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To: AuH2ORepublican
Maybe Cleo will run :)
31 posted on 09/24/2003 11:24:20 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (Robot robot robot)
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To: JohnnyZ
She got 49% in a Senate race against an incumbent Democrat in Louisiana. So, I'd say she must have been at least an adequate candidate. If it weren't for the massive fraud in Monroe and New Orleans then she would have won. She will win this AG race. She, like Vitter, has what it takes to win statewide in LA: A base in the N.O. suburbs. An R must get big margins in Metairie and St. Tammany parish to win. Both Terrell and Vitter can do that.
32 posted on 09/24/2003 11:24:26 AM PDT by wylenetheconservative
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To: ABG(anybody but Gore)
**Put 'em both on the Judiciary Committee, and watch the RATS squirm.**

LOL!
33 posted on 09/24/2003 11:25:43 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: AuH2ORepublican
Scrapping the all-party primary won't help Brazile any. African-Americans don't turn out big for primaries. They have to be turned out, and it will be difficult for Brazile to do that without the party apparatus and BIG $ behind her. Secondly, almost all local offices all over the state are held by D's, even in conservative areas. So the R primary would have few voters. Most conservative whites would vote in the D primary so they could vote for sherriff, etc. They would vote against Brazile, giving John the nomination.
34 posted on 09/24/2003 11:31:02 AM PDT by wylenetheconservative
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To: Pubbie
Do you think Istook's Mormonism will hurt him in predominantly Baptist OK?
35 posted on 09/24/2003 11:33:07 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Theodore R.
Probably not.
36 posted on 09/24/2003 11:38:30 AM PDT by Pubbie ("Last time I checked, he doesn't have a vote" - Tom DeLay on Ari Fleischer's demand for Tax-Rebates)
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To: Theodore R.
Probably..I don't really know enough about LA politics, nor even the state..and ALL politics is local, right...but from what I read it was the last minute black "get out the vote" effort that made the difference...Suzie wasn't really an experienced candidate...not really "ready for prime time"..
37 posted on 09/24/2003 11:41:33 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: ken5050
from what I read it was the last minute black "get out the vote" effort that made the difference

That certainly helped, but I think the turning point in the race came when Landrieu began to accuse the Bush administration (and Terrell by proxy) of pursuing policies that would put Louisiana sugar-cane growers out of business (via a deal with Mexico to allow importation of cheap Mexican sugar). By all accounts I've seen, Landrieu made very effective use of this issue.

38 posted on 09/24/2003 11:47:08 AM PDT by BlackRazor
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To: Theodore R.
I'm a Baptist and I like Istook. I gotta be honest, I had no idea he was Mormon.

I am hoping JC is our next governor, and Istook our next Senator. Keating is IMHO too controversial, what with his chronic foot in mouth problem. I'm not certain he could defeat Carson. Carson comes across as Moderate and likable. He could very well win.

39 posted on 09/24/2003 11:47:56 AM PDT by Charlie OK (If you are a Christian, please drive like one!)
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To: BlackRazor
Landrieu did use the sugar issue effectively, but Terrell would still have prevailed if not for the massive fraud in the inner-cities of New Orleans and Monroe. I know most of you guys live in nice upscale communities, so as someone who has been there, let me tell you. The Democrats get away with things in the cities on election day that you would find completely unthinkable. You would be disgusted if you knew the truth.
40 posted on 09/24/2003 11:56:59 AM PDT by wylenetheconservative
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To: wylenetheconservative
It's a common misconception that a black in the primary doesn't turn out the black vote. The last two times it's happened, the black candidates ended up in the runoff. If Brazile did toss her hat in the ring, she's got 30% of the vote automatically. And then, the GOP opponent beats her in the runoff by 65-35. Been there, done that.
41 posted on 09/24/2003 12:02:18 PM PDT by ABG(anybody but Gore) (Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a Tagline!)
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To: JohnnyZ
"Maybe Cleo will run :)"


Nah, that would take votes away from Brazile in the primary. But if Brazile didn't run, we should definitely encourage Cleo to run. "Cleo, this is your year. Louisianans are seeking a progressive voice in the Senate." He would fall for it hook, line and sinker.

In the meantime, we need to encourage another conservative Democrat to run to take votes away from Chris John. Maybe Congressman Alexander from NE LA? If those two run for the Senate, we can pick up two House seats and face Brazile or Cleo Fields in the run-off. Wouldn't that be sweet!
42 posted on 09/24/2003 12:03:05 PM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.)
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To: BlackRazor
I remember...it was a questionable story in a Mexican newspaper, right?...well, we can alweays console ourselves by asking Mary if she enjoyes her seat on the Armed Services Committee.....she told us she was gonna be there, right?
43 posted on 09/24/2003 12:03:51 PM PDT by ken5050
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To: wylenetheconservative
She will win this AG race

I hope so, but then there's no way she turns around and runs for senate in 2004.

44 posted on 09/24/2003 12:08:44 PM PDT by JohnnyZ (Robot robot robot)
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To: ABG(anybody but Gore)
Which 2 times are you talking about? The only African-American candidate in LA that I can recall in recent years is William Jefferson for Governor, and he was the only Democrat running, so there was no runoff. African Americans don't turn out HEAVILY for primaries because they generally have to be turned out by the party with incentives. Obviously some percentage turns out on their own, but it is a relatively small percentage.
45 posted on 09/24/2003 12:10:49 PM PDT by wylenetheconservative
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To: JohnnyZ
I agree. Vitter will do just fine carrying the GOP banner in that race.
46 posted on 09/24/2003 12:11:55 PM PDT by wylenetheconservative
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To: wylenetheconservative
YES YES YES!!!!! NICHOLES IS RETIRING!!!!!!


Look, nothing against the man, but he's old and isn't going anywhere else. Can we PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE get J.C. Watts in there? Oh, oh, oh, I cannot even tell you how happy that would make me.

If not him (sob!) how about Steve Largent? I mean, his loss in the Gov. race was a fluke and everybody knows it. He could be our next Jim Talent, except even better!

47 posted on 09/24/2003 12:17:55 PM PDT by zbigreddogz
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To: TheBigB
Who's this Herman Cain fellow?
48 posted on 09/24/2003 12:20:19 PM PDT by zbigreddogz
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To: Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS
Oklahoma's mostly white 4th District. That victory brought him national attention as the first black Republican elected to Congress from a southern state since Reconstruction.

I never considered Oklahoma! to be southern. Western, Mid-western, South-western maybe, but not Southern. And Oklahoma! admitted to the Union in 1906, was certainly not part of the old Confederacy.

49 posted on 09/24/2003 12:20:26 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Uday and Qusay and Idi-ay are ead-day)
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To: wylenetheconservative
You are forgetting the '95 Gubernatorial primary, when Cleo Fields emerged from left field to knock Landrieu and Ieyoub out of the runoff.
50 posted on 09/24/2003 12:22:21 PM PDT by ABG(anybody but Gore) (Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a Tagline!)
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