EXCLUSIVE GUEST COLUMN: Louisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter-Peterson Responds to Saturday’s Defeats

By: Senator Karen Carter-Peterson

The state of the Louisiana Democratic Party is unquestionably stronger than where we were just four years ago. We had three strong candidates in congressional races, and Congressman Cedric Richmond cruised to re-election, while Mayor Mayo and Governor Edwards both polled first in their primaries in qualifying for the runoff election. Ollie Tyler was elected as the first African-American woman to lead the city of Shreveport, and Jacques Roy won a resounding victory to continue serving as mayor of Alexandria. In addition, there were a number of new Democrats elected in local races that are the future of our Party. We are on strong financial footing for next year, and we have good support from our donors and great partnerships with Democratic elected officials across the state, as well as with the national committees.

But the fact of the matter is this — the non-stop onslaught of negative and inflammatory Koch Brothers ads, added to the toxic media environment driven by Fox News and the right-wing echo chamber, have made it challenging for us to drive out our message to voters. Our Party’s values — valuing work with a fair minimum wage, fighting for fairness in the workplace, expanding access to affordable health care, investing in education to help our kids compete in the global marketplace — ARE Louisiana values. We ARE the Party that is fighting for Louisiana working families. We don’t cater to the national special interests, the ideologues or the political noise machines. Our day begins and ends working for Louisianians to make our state a better place for all. We cannot cede that ground to Republicans, or we will keep falling further behind.

So I’m upbeat about our prospects moving forward into 2015. Louisiana has been ground-zero for a failed radical experiment in governance implemented by Bobby Jindal, one of the least popular governors in the country. Louisiana is ready for a new direction and return to a government that works for all. There’s a lot of hard work to be done, but I’m committed to doing whatever it takes to turn this state from red to purple and eventually to blue.