Jeremy Alford

Could Angelle ride elephant into 3rd district race?

by Jeremy Alford

As natural resources secretary under former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, and sitting Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, Scott Angelle of Breaux Bridge has been a rising star for his aggressive approach, cool demeanor and obvious political skill. But when the former St. Martin Parish president was asked to serve as Jindal’s legislative liaison earlier this year, despite that he himself is a Democrat, the rave reviews from lawmakers poured in for the bi-partisan strategy.

In part, that led business interests in Acadiana to urge Angelle to run for the 3rd Congressional District, which sitting Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, is expected to vacate to run against U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-Metairie. At first, Angelle seemed anything but warm to the idea, but now he sounds like a real pro, albeit one on the fence. “In due time I’ll give it the appropriate consideration,” Angelle says. “I’ve received a lot of encouragement and I’m flattered to be on any short list. And I think as secretary and after working with Gov. Jindal, I’ve demonstrated my dedication to public service. I also believe this experience qualifies me to be considered.”

Yet Angelle may not run as a Democrat if you believe the recent rumors stirring around Acadiana. When asked if he had been approached by state or national Republican Party officials about making the switch, Angelle said no. “I haven’t been contacted by the Republicans or the Democrats or the Libertarians or Greenpeace or any kind of organized political group,” he says laughing. “No.”

In a follow-up query by e-mail, he was also asked if he would even consider making the leap. “Several longtime friends have suggested it over the years and again more recently,“ Angelle replied. “It is something that I would consider, like Ronald Reagan, Mike Foster and Billy Tauzin.”

Other possibilities for the 3CD include Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser; St. John Parish President Bill Hubbard; Republican Hunt Downer, a Houma native and former speaker of the House; state Rep. Nickie Monica, R-LaPlace; and state Rep. Gary Smith, D-Norco.