Predictions last month that Louisiana Republicans would aggressively target the state's Democratic attorney general during the forthcoming election cycle appear to be coming true.
The GOP's candidate for state attorney general, Royal Alexander, announced yesterday that his candidacy had raised more than $200,000 in the past two weeks. He will shortly launch a statewide media blitz.
Alexander, a native of gulf-coast Shreveport, is the first Bayou State Republican to offically challenge incumbent Charles Foti. He was recently Chief of Staff for U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander.
Alexander formally announced his candidacy April 23 in a press release from the Republican Party of Louisiana. In it he referred to "poor planning and poor administration" by the attorney general's office under Foti's leadership as key factors in his decision.
Foti may have inadvertently focused GOP political opposition onto himself due to a recent non-decision, LegalNewsLine reported last month. Foti punted on whether the Democrats' star candidate, John Breaux, was residentially eligible to run for governor next year.
Breaux then dropped out of the Democratic race to succeed Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who had already ruled out a second term. That left Foti as the last well-known Democrat still standing for the GOP to attack, according to Louisiana-based blog BayouBuzz.
Foti recently ruled out joining his Democratic counterpart in Mississippi, Jim Hood, in filing suit against insurers that denied policyholder claims after Hurricane Katrina. Foti said Louisiana law doesn't give him the authority to sue as Hood's state does.
His Republican challenger clearly believes Foti is vulnerable to charges of repeated blundering since Hurricane Katrina.
"We can't afford another four years of 'Keystone Cops' style leadership from our top law enforcement official," Alexander's release stated. "At a time when Louisiana needed him most, [Foti] failed us in the worst way."
Alexander said yesterday that in terms of fund-raising, his campaign had resonated "a whole lot quicker than we had ever hoped for."