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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Runoff election held

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  • Social media sites were all a-twitter Saturday night following the calculation of votes received in the United States 5th Congressional District race between Vince McAllister and Neil Riser, both Republicans with similar platforms.
    While many expressed surprise in the large gap between votes received by McAllister and Riser, many stated that negative ads run by Riser near the end of the election hurt him more than helped.
    McAllister's approach to the Affordable Care Act, including expanding Medicaid to cover more uninsured low-income residents, was Riser's ammo used in his attack against the West Carroll native in direct mail and on TV regarding the health care issue.
    Calling McAllister a “Chameleon” in one ad, Riser stated...“We need someone in Washington with the backbone to stand up to the political establishment. Vance’s various positions on Obamacare show that he is not ready to stand up to President Obama and the Washington crowd. It is apparent that he is willing to change his position on Obamacare depending on which group he’s addressing. As your congressman, I’ll shoot straight with you every time and fight to repeal Obamacare...”
    National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden released a statement following the election commending McAllister and his overwhelming victory.
    “Congratulations are in order tonight for Representative-elect Vance McAllister... A self-made businessman and Louisiana native, Vance’s priorities of fiscal responsibility and accountability will be an excellent addition to Louisiana’s delegation here in Washington," Walden (R-OR) said following the election. "As a veteran, it’s clear that Vance is committed to fighting for our country and for the principles that we hold dear. I know that Vance will continue Rodney Alexander’s record of fighting for commonsense policies and strong fiscal discipline here in Washington. I look forward to working with Vance as we fight back against ObamaCare and this Administration’s expensive, big-government, tax and spend policies.”
    Estimates are that McAllister spent as much as $800,000 of his own money to finance his campaign for congress.
    With less than a year remaining in the term of former Rep. Rodney Alexander, McAllister was asked if he realized he was already running for re-election.
    “I’m not a politician, so I don’t think like that,” McAllister said Monday. “If I don’t do the job I told people I would do, re-election will take care of itself.”
    Coming from almost unknown four months ago, McAllister crushed state Sen. Neil Riser in the Nov. 16 runoff. Complete but unofficial results from the 24-parish district show McAllister had 54,449 votes to 36,837 for Riser – 70.0 percent to 30.0 percent, respectively.
    Page 2 of 2 - “That’s a strong statement to let us know people want me to do the things I told them I would,” McAllister said. “The people of the district spoke loudly, and I will take that with me to Washington.
    In Morehouse Parish, McAllister enjoyed an identical percentage to the district-wide numbers, outpolling Riser 2,770 votes to 1,185.
    Voters in the city of Bastrop approved a five-year renewal of a one-half cent sales tax used for street improvement projects. For the fiscal year ending June 30 of this year, the tax brought in just over $930,000.
    Mayor Arthur Jones said the fund are dedicated to repaying bonds issued to fund a number of street improvement projects completed several years ago. Once those bonds are paid off, Jones said more street improvement projects would be completed.
    “The engineers came up with a priority list of which streets we need to address next,” Jones said. “When we have more funds available, we’ll start working on that list.”

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