WASHINGTON — Former congressman and Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway said Monday that he is supporting Republican businessman Vance McAllister in the all-GOP runoff for the vacant congressional 5th District seat.
Holloway, a Republican from Forest Hill, received nearly 11 percent of the vote to finish fourth in the Oct. 19 open primary election from a pool of 14 candidates. The third-place finisher, Democratic Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, also has endorsed McAllister.
State Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, finished first in the primary with nearly 32 percent of the votes cast. McAllister, a Monroe business owner originally from Oak Grove, finished a distant second with almost 18 percent of the vote.
The runoff election is Nov. 16.
On Monday, Holloway called McAllister a “sound conservative” while contending Riser is answering to political interests.
Holloway has repeatedly criticized the alleged effort by former Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, and Gov. Bobby Jindal to conspire to give Riser an edge in the campaign by having Alexander unexpectedly take a job in Jindal’s cabinet and open up the congressional seat.
The involved parties have denied such machinations.
“All indications are that King Jindal and his political friends tried to anoint a congressman for the people of the 5th Congressional District and rig an election to put into office someone who simply takes orders from Bobby Jindal,” Holloway said in his announcement.
“How this race came about and the circumstances surrounding it totally stinks; it has all the ingredients of a typical Louisiana political backroom deal.
“However, the voters of this district vote for the person who represents them; we do not anoint congressmen, we elect them,” Holloway continued.
“I know Vance McAllister will be beholden/answer to the people of this district and not be lead around by the governor or simply follow the money or the power ... he will simply answer to and reflect the values of this district.”
Holloway went on to describe McAllister as an anti-abortion, pro-Second Amendment businessman who will serve the will of the people.
The redrawn congressional 5th District is the state’s poorest, most rural and by far the largest geographically, stretching into 24 parishes from Monroe down to Alexandria and into the Florida parishes, which include the north Baton Rouge suburban and bedroom communities in the Feliciana parishes.
In addition to Holloway and Mayo, McAllister carries the endorsement of “Duck Dynasty” television star Phil Robertson.
Riser has the support of the former congressman who left the seat open, Rodney Alexander. Riser also is backed by Reps. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson; Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette; and John Fleming, R-Minden, as well as the Tea Party of Louisiana and the tea party-affiliated FreedomWorks organization.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., also has assisted Riser with fundraising.
State Rep. Robert Johnson, D-Marksville, who finished fifth, has said he is not planning to endorse anyone.