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The Louisiana GOP Gains a Convert

Elbert Lee Guillory, Cajun noir.

Sep 16, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 02 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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“It is the right decision, not only for me but for all my brothers and sisters in the black community,” he says. “You see, in recent history, the Democrat party has created the illusion that their agenda and their policies are what’s best for black people.”

Guillory argues against what he calls the Democrats’ agenda of dependency for blacks and touts the GOP’s respect for freedom, praising the idea that “the individual must be free to pursue his or her own happiness, free from government dependence and free from government control.”

The video went as viral as a four-minute-plus political manifesto can, getting more than 900,000 views on YouTube. Fox News personalities Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto invited Guillory onto their programs. He made a trip to Washington, meeting with groups like the Heritage Foundation and the House’s Republican Study Committee.

All the attention from conservatives in Louisiana and across the country has Guillory thinking about his political future. He won’t be up for reelection until 2015, but it’s unlikely his district will vote for a Republican, even a black one. Guillory might be better off running statewide, perhaps for lieutenant governor. He’s indicated he may be interested in the job, but political observers close to him suggest he may consider jumping into the 2014 campaign for U.S. Senate. That seat’s held by vulnerable Democrat Mary Landrieu, and Republican House member Bill Cassidy is already in the race. But a small number of Louisiana conservatives say they are unhappy with Cassidy and are seeking a more conservative alternative. Guillory could fit the bill, and besides, having him as one of two black Republicans running for Senate next year (along with South Carolina’s Tim Scott) might not be bad for a national party looking to broaden its appeal.

Guillory won’t say what he’s thinking, though he says he hears from people asking him to run for either lieutenant governor or senator “every single day.”

“If the coach calls me up,” he says, pointing heavenward, “and says, ‘Guillory, I’m putting you into this position or that position,’ then I’ll be ready to do that. But I’ll wait for the coach to call.”

Michael Warren is a staff writer at The Weekly Standard and a 2012 Robert Novak journalism fellow.

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