There are two special primary elections taking place in Louisiana on March 20, 2021. One is for the House seat vacated by Rep. Cedric Richmond in the 2nd Congressional District when he joined the Biden administration. There are 15 candidates, but the 2nd is a comfortably safe blue district.
In the 5th Congressional District, a dozen candidates are jockeying for the chance to fill the seat won by Luke Letlow in 2020; the Republican died of complications from COVID-19 before he could be sworn in.
In its long history, Louisiana has never had a Black female congressional representative, and in the ruby-red 5th—a sprawling, largely rural district hugging the Mississippi border—all of the candidates are Republicans or independents … except one.
Sandra “Candy” Christophe is the lone Democrat, and the only Black candidate.
All candidates compete in the same primary, and a candidate can win the election outright by receiving more than 50 percent of the vote. If no candidate does, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election, regardless of their partisan affiliation.
Christophe, 52, missed qualifying to run against Letlow in the 2020 general election by just 428 votes, and she’s back for another try. People might question why a Democrat would run in a district that favored Trump by 30 points—twice. Why would Christophe run in a district that is so bright red, the last Democrat to win it only won reelection in 2004 by switching to the Republican Party?
My answer is this: As long as the Democratic Party lets Republicans run uncontested, we have zero opportunities to raise issues at the a local level. As long as we give into a dismissive “it’s the South” attitude, we do the South and our fellow Democrats who live there a disservice.
Thankfully that has not been the attitude of women like Stacey Abrams, and other Black Southern women who came before her, who continue to organize. It’s certainly not the attitude held by Christophe, who was born, raised, and educated in the Bayou State.
Sandra “Candy” Christophe was born in Independence, Louisiana. She obtained an undergraduate degree in May 1990 after attending Louisiana College in Pineville, La., and Southern University in Baton Rouge, La.. She obtained a graduate degree in May 1993 from the Grambling State University School of Social Work in Grambling, La. Her professional experience includes working as a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed addiction counselor, a small business owner, and the founder and volunteer executive director of a nonprofit organization.
It takes a certain sort of bravery to enter a race with no clear path to victory. The Dems who have the courage to run in these red districts deserve our support.
There was no frontrunner when that tweet was sent; currently Letlow’s widow-turned-candidate, Julia, a university administrator, is predicted to win the primary, if not the seat, with “the sympathy vote.” I question this, particularly since her husband never served a day in office. All the same, right-wing media is already hard at work trying to smear Christophe, an indication they may be concerned about her chances.
Meanwhile, Christophe’s campaign is kicking into high gear.
What impressed me most from her campaign website was this hands-on experience with a major sociopolitical problem—not just in Louisiana, but across the U.S.
A champion of her community with a demonstrated track record of finding solutions to complex problems, Candy is no stranger to the issues plaguing her district. To combat economic strife and family separation, Candy founded Re- Entry, a Louisiana nonprofit that provides needed support to formerly incarcerated persons assisting with employment, housing, and reintegration.
The lifelong Louisianan’s campaign platform focuses on issues that are in tune with those confronting the people of her district: support for agriculture, small business, and veterans, as well as expanded health care. She is also a devout Christian who supports a woman’s right to choose.
Christophe has been endorsed by the Louisiana Democratic Party.
We don’t (and won’t) win if we don’t get involved and show our support. Regardless of the outcome, I’m proud to see this sister running for this seat; I even sent a donation to her campaign.
Republicans should not be running uncontested. After all, we will never win it if we ain’t in it.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.