Louisiana AG staying on the political sidelines

James "Buddy" Caldwell

Catherine Cortez Masto

BATON ROUGE-(Legal Newsline)-Louisiana Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell says he will leave others to campaign for their favorite presidential hopeful, noting he "likes" them all. In an interview with Legal Newsline, Caldwell, a Democrat, said Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., have enough surrogates, leaving him to his important legal work. "The people in this state didn't elect me to get into their politics, and I have a huge following: Democratic and Republican," Caldwell said. He added there is "something good" in each of the candidates, including Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, his party's presumptive nominee. Caldwell, who took office on Jan. 14, said voters in the Creole State did not oust former Attorney General Charles Foti, Jr., and elect him to campaign on behalf of others, but to represent the state. "I am going to stay out of their politics; I like all of them," Caldwell said, adding that he would welcome all of the candidates to Louisiana. "Whoever comes to the state, and if they need the attorney general to be present to be sure they feel welcome, then I consider it a portion of my civic and professional responsibility to let them know the attorney general appreciates public sacrifice," Caldwell said. Among other attorneys general staying on the sidelines is Catherine Cortez Masto, one of about 700 Democratic Party leaders and elected officials who serve as the party's superdelegates. Her political director, Erin Bilbray, was quoted by Politicker NV this week as saying that Masto has not yet committed to backing a particular candidate. Bilbray said the attorney general's decision will be influenced by what happens at the Nevada Democratic Party state convention on May 17. "What happens at the convention on the 17th of May will definitely weigh heavily on how she decides," Bilbray said. "She's thrilled because so many people are participating who have never participated before." From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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