Vitter endorses Tucker in secretary of state bid

by Walter Pierce

"Jim has been a champion of Louisiana taxpayers by pushing fiscal accountability."

Louisiana House Speaker Jim Tucker is touting an endorsement from U.S. Sen. David Vitter in his campaign for Louisiana Secretary of State. The New Orleans-area state lawmaker, who is term-limited and cannot seek re-election to the House, has also recently picked up the endorsements of the Louisiana Sheriff's Association and the Louisiana Assessors Association.

"Jim has been a champion of Louisiana taxpayers by pushing fiscal accountability," Vitter says in a press release issued Wednesday by the Tucker campaign. "He's pushed more than 40 tax cuts through the Louisiana House in his tenure as speaker. Most notably, he led the fight to repeal the awful Stelly tax."

Tucker is seeking the post vacated last year by Jay Dardenne, who won a special election to serve as lieutenant governor after former Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu won the New Orleans mayoral election. Fellow Republican Tom Schedler, appointed secretary of state following Dardenne's departure, is seeking a full term in the post.

Democrat Caroline Fayard, who lost to Dardenne in a runoff for lieutenant governor, is also eying the race. Fayard recently released a poll her campaign says shows her with a slight edge over Tucker, although the poll has been widely discounted due to its dubious methodology and Schedler's absence in the poll.

Tucker, meanwhile, says he's humbled by the recent spate of endorsements: "Each of us has a part to play in making Louisiana's future prosperous. I have always wanted to help Louisiana succeed. Louisiana needs strong leaders. I'm running for Secretary of State to provide that leadership on the front lines of our battle for the future."