Democratic State Rep. Michael Jackson, who lost the Democratic special-election primary in Louisiana's 6th District to now-Rep Don Cazayoux, says it's "very likely" that he'll challenge Cazayoux as an independent this year.
He's not planning on challenging in the Democratic primary. He is waging an independent, spoiler campaign against a Democratic incumbent.
This is not insignificant. Cazayoux won election by just three points over Republican Woody Jenkins in April. He did so largely based on heavy black turnout in East Baton Rouge. The district as a whole is 33% African-American, and it's very possible that Jackson, who is African-American himself, will peel off enough votes from Cazayoux to swing the election to Republican Bill Cassidy.
But then, Jackson appears not to be overly concerned about the good of the party:
Jackson, the vice chairman of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, said he’s fully aware that some Republicans want him in the race and that Democratic leaders want him on the sidelines.
"Both sides have shown an interest in whether or not I’m in this race," he said. "Republicans feel it might help their position and Democrats feel like it may hurt their position."
However, Jackson said, "my goal would be to run to win and to maximize the opportunity and to maximize my chances. and it appears that the best way to do that right now is to do it as an Independent."
So, he's running as an independent, then, because it maximizes his chances. It may hand the seat to a Republican, but what the hell...
But he added that although he would be on the ballot as an Independent, he intends to preach a Democratic message during his campaign.
"It’s not that I’m disassociating myself [from] the Democrats ... my banner will be an Independent-Democrat, I’ll stay connected to the philosophy that way."
An "Independent-Democrat", yet. Sounds familiar, for some reason.
Anyway, I should think that a vanity campaign as an independent, against a Democratic incumbent backed by the entire party establishment, with no obvious purpose other than to torpedo the Democrat, does enough on its own to "disassociate oneself from the Democrats".
If Jackson were running in the primary, that would be fine. If the jungle primary still existed, that too would be OK. But an independent run of this nature is truly bad form.