Today, Lafayette entrepreneur Mike Spears (relationship to the Spears family of Kentwood, Louisiana currently not known) announced his candidacy for the United States Senate. This could create more problems for Vitter (T-P; bold mine):

Describing himself as a “conservative independent,” Spears’ online policy statements suggest that he plans to run as an outsider opposed to government expansion. It will be Spears’ first run for elected office. Vitter also is being challenged by U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville.

Spears professed his alignment with the tea party and said he wants to fight a Capitol culture “awash in corruption and excessive spending.” Lawmakers, he said, “disregard the Constitution and defy the American people’s will.”

Sure, many folks around here are jumping aboard the Tea Party bandwagon, including Vitter himself. (In “fairness” to Vitter, he was an early adopter of the Tea Party).

But- although Spears has never held elected office before- his resume, on paper, is likely to impress: Gulf War veteran, successful entrepreneur, and “Acadiana’s Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2003 (second place in the statewide competition, according to his campaign website).

Of course, it remains to be seen if Mr. Spears will be a serious candidate, but given his apparent resources, his resume, and his experience in online media, I expect he will assert himself as a viable conservative alternative to Vitter. And make no mistake: Spears will be drawing, almost exclusively, from Vitter voters, not Melancon voters.

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