[StBernard] Foster Campbell Shines at JJ Dinner
westley at da-parish.com
Mon Jul 30 22:04:07 EDT 2007
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Campbell Put in Solid Performance at JJ from the Louisiana Political Report
In a six minute speech at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner --
where the Democratic elite meet to eat and greet, for tickets ranging
upwards to $5,000 - PSC Commissioner Foster Campbell managed to touch on
education, corruption, consumer rights and environmental concerns while
being interrupted by laughter and/or clapping 15 times. Of course, there are
two Democrats in the race for governor, and state Sen. Walter Boasso was
given the same amount of time allotted to Campbell at the fundraiser.
Clearly sweating, the bulky Chalmette native and, more importantly, recent
Republican convert, did his best to cheer for the home team. He was
understandably uncomfortable, having come into the fold after being rejected
by the GOP for the race's unambiguous frontrunner, Congressman Bobby Jindal
The only wild card from this side of the race is New Orleans
Mayor Ray Nagin, who has avoided answering questions about his aspirations
directly. Julie Vezinot, communications director for the Louisiana
Democratic Party, says there haven't been any formal meetings with party
leadership and it's noteworthy that Nagin is raising money outside of the
state and the congressional seat of William Jefferson, a New Orleans
Democrat facing federal corruption charges, is in question. But since the
Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on July 21, the insider buzz has been growing
around Campbell, she says, adding that the party is not favoring either
candidate. "Foster got an overwhelming support from the (Jefferson-Jackson
Dinner)," she says, "It appeared to be a great night for him."
Traditional factions of the party that Democrats need to win on a
statewide level are may also be inching slowly over to Campbell's populist
message. "I've seen some of those stirrings moving in that direction too in
recent months," Vezinot says.
State Rep. Juan A. LaFonta, chairman of the Legislative Black
Caucus and Democrat from New Orleans, where the party's black base largely
resides, reports that Campbell's grassroots campaign in well underway in the
city, although starting off slow with signage only. Boasso's materials,
meanwhile, still haven't hit the streets. "This is going to shape up to be
an interesting race," says LaFonta, who has not endorsed a candidate.
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