Democratic Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu’s campaign is trying to put as much distance as possible between itself and remarks made by Opelousas Mayor Donald Cravins Sr. in which he encouraged citizens to vote twice on Election Day.
Cravins' son is Landrieu’s chief of staff. The remarks which were caught on video and just recently released could prove to be trouble for Landrieu’s campaign as she heads into a hotly contested runoff race this Saturday against Republican challenger Bill Cassidy.
“If you early voted, go vote again tomorrow,” Cravins is heard saying in the video, said to be shot the day before the Nov. 4 elections. “One more time’s not going to hurt.”
The remarks drew light laughter from the crowd, according to the Daily Mail. The crowd then erupted into cheers when Cravins announced that anyone who violated the law, by voting twice, likely wouldn’t be prosecuted because the voters were also going to elect a Democrat for district attorney.
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“Tomorrow we’re gonna elect Earl Taylor as the D.A. so he won’t prosecute you if you vote twice,” Cravins says in the recording.
Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere denounced Cravins’ comments.
“It seems a shame that Mayor Cravins would even suggest that voters participate in the same politics of the past that landed many Democrat politicians in jail,” Villere said, according to The Washington Times.
Landrieu’s campaign went into damage control as the right-of-center political action committee known as the the Black Conservatives Fund, or BCF, sought to exploit the remarks in the video.
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The Democratic incumbent’s campaign staff scheduled a press conference Monday to coincide with a BCF press conference in which representatives said they would release the full video.
“I kid you not. She's scared and I bet she lawyered up,” said BCF senior adviser, Ali Akbar, of Landrieu.
At Landrieu’s press conference, campaign staffers unveiled two new radio attack ads, directed at Cassidy. The ads allege Cassidy billed Louisiana State University for teaching classes while he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and not on campus teaching, according to The Hill.
No mention of the Cravins video was reported.
Landrieu’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment on the video.