Dardenne and Fayard by the numbers

by Leslie Turk

Apparently, it does pay to have better name recognition, as making it to the general election from a field of eight candidates cost Secretary of State Jay Dardenne $1.54 per vote and political neophyte Caroline Fayard more than $2 per voter.

And now there are two: Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, a Baton Rouge Republican and private attorney, and political neophyte Caroline Fayard, a Democrat from New Orleans. They bested a field of eight candidates Saturday evening and are already gearing up for the Nov. 2 general election. Up until now, though, it hasn't been a cheap experience. Although there are still a few election day spending reports to be filed, records maintained by the Louisiana Board of Ethics give us a good idea of how much each of the runoff candidates spent to turn out their supporters.

With 181,000 votes banked and somewhere in the neighborhood of $279,000 spent on his race, Dardenne shelled out an average of $1.54 on every individual that voted for his campaign. Fayard, meanwhile, with her 159,000 tally and $321,000 spending spree - much of it her own - had a political ratio of $2.01 per voter. Apparently, it does pay to have better name recognition.

In coming weeks, expect Fayard to mount a campaign based at least partly on generational politics - out with the old, in with the new - that might smack slightly of Gov. Bobby Jindal's historic run for governor. Sources close to Dardenne's camp will be sticking with what Dardenne is known best for: his experience. They'll argue that Fayard is a smart and capable candidate who's perfect for a state like Massachusetts, but not Louisiana, given her connections to Democrats who lean left.