Informed voting vital for Louisiana Senate race

Daniel Horowitz, Associate Views Editor

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This is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

The 2016 general election will likely be one for the ages, but these elections are only outrageous if we let them be.

Both presidential candidates defy historical precedents, and we are seeing a stream of down-ballot races that are just as unusual.

We cannot let the chaos of our presidential election affect our attitude about lower-tier elections; Louisiana’s upcoming senatorial election is one example.

Next Tuesday, Louisiana residents will vote to fill the seat of former Senator David Vitter. Most remember Vitter as the Republican candidate who opposed Gov. John Bel Edwards in Louisiana’s 2015 gubernatorial election.

A number of candidates are vying for his seat, and due to the number of Tulane students voting in Louisiana, voters must be informed about candidates on the ballot.

We should critically examine each candidate to understand their platforms. This race has current officeholders, public servants and war veterans in the mix. These are people who dedicated their lives to serving the public.

One notable candidate is David Duke.

Duke is a former state representative from Louisiana who advocates for many of the same policy proposals as Donald Trump. Duke is a convicted felon and a member of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Duke is such a controversial figure that Republicans at every level of government have either denounced or distanced themselves from him.

Other republican cadidates include John Kennedy and Charles Boustany. Kennedy, the front-runner in the race, has experience as the Louisiana State Treasurer and favors funding public education and rebuilding coastal wetlands. Boustany is a U.S. Representative who advocates for coastal restoration and veterans’ support.

Foster Campbell and Caroline Fayard, the two leading Democrats, both have an extensive history of public service and advocate for a higher minimum wage and healthcare reform.

Campbell and Fayard are more qualified candidates with more valuable experience for the Senate.

This election comes in a year when the balance of the Senate can shift in either direction, and even experts do not know which party will hold the majority. In such a unique election year, we must keep our down-ballot races informed and reasonable.

Daniel is a junior at Newcomb-Tulane College. He can be reached at [email protected]