23 and Me?

With attorney Abhay Patel dropping out of the Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race this week, Pelican State voters now have only 23 candidates from which to choose in November’s jungle primary: eight Republicans, seven Democrats, two Libertarians, four independents, and two others. The 2016 field is the largest for the office in Louisiana history, easily besting the 17 candidates to appear on the primary or general election ballots in 2010 (won by Republican David Vitter), the 15 running in 1996’s jungle primary (won by Democrat Mary Landrieu in a run-off), and the 14 on the ballot in 1986’s jungle primary (won in a run-off by Democrat John Breaux). This cycle’s field includes three sitting or former U.S. Representatives (Republicans Charles Boustany, John Fleming, and Joseph Cao), a state treasurer (Republican John Kennedy), a state public services commissioner (Democrat Foster Campbell), and two former state legislators (Democrat-turned-independent Troy Hebert and Democrat-turned-Republican David Duke). Of the 23 candidates, just two are women: Democrat Carolina Fayard and independent Kaitlin Marone.

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