Louisiana Elections Feature Pro-Life Candidates in Both Parties

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 22, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Louisiana Elections Feature Pro-Life Candidates in Both Parties

by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
August 22, 2003

Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — While economic troubles may grab the headlines, pro-life issues could play a pivotal role in a number of political contests in Louisiana.

Pro-life Governor Mike Foster (R) will be exiting center stage, unable to seek re-election because of term limits. More than a dozen people are seeking to replace him, including an electrician, several businessmen, a number of politicians, and a restaurateur.

Eighteen candidates filed for Governor: 4 Republicans, 9 Democrats, and 5 Independents.

Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Blanco (D), Attorney General Richard Ieyoub (D), former State Health Secretary Bobby Jindal (R) and former State House Speaker Hunt Downer (R) are viewed as the frontrunners in the crowded race.

Ieyoub, a Democrat, is one of the leading pro-life candidates in the race.

Among his major achievements, Ieyoub cites his success in ensuring that abortion centers are regularly inspected and regulated by the state and the actions he’s taken in an effort to get Choose Life license plates on the streets.

Ieyoub’s Gubernatorial campaign has gotten off to a fast financial start, with $2 million in the bank as of the last reporting period. A recent fundraiser netted an additional three-quarters of a million dollars.

Then there’s Jay Blossman, a maverick Republican who now chairs the Public Service Commission. Known for its colorful comments, Blossman has been quoted as saying he’s "1,000 percent pro-life" and determined to support all legislation opposed to abortion.

"If it reduces the number of abortions in the state, I’ll sign it," Blossman has said.

In Louisiana, voters must also cast their ballots for Lieutenant Governor, an office that has also attracted a large collection of candidates.

Perhaps the best-known in the field is Democrat Mitch Landrieu, a pro-abortion state representative and attorney who is often identified simply as "Senator Mary Landrieu’s brother."

The pro-abortion Mary Landrieu secured a seat in the U.S. Senate in a contentious campaign which pitted her against outspoken pro-life advocate Suzanne Terrell, a Republican.

Terrell, who has said, "I pledge to vote 100% for pro-life," is now running for Attorney General.

Terrell opposes taxpayer funding of abortions, abortions in military
hospitals, and the highly controversial practice of partial-birth abortion. She is also in favor of parental notice and/or consent before a teenage girl has an abortion.

The Louisiana Family Forum, a pro-life group, said the state’s unusual blanket primary system, which opens the contest to all candidates regardless of party affiliation, makes politics in the Bayou particularly interesting.

"It’s not quite the circus that California is," says Louisiana Family Forum’s Executive Director Gene Mills, "but close."

The Louisiana Family Forum plans a 2003 Voter Guide to help voters make a wise choice on October 4th. For more information, visit
https://www.lafamilyforum.org or call 1.800.606.6470 for details.