Charlie Melancon announces against Vitter in Senate race

DEIDRE CRUSE, Governmental Reporter
U.S. Rep. Charles Melancon, D-Napoleonville

U. S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, announced last week he would try to unseat Republican U. S. Sen. David Vitter in next year's Congressional elections “because Louisiana deserves better.”

“Louisiana needs a different approach – more bi-partisan, more disciplined, more honest and with a whole lot more common sense,” the congressman said.

Melancon did not mention the scandal two years ago when Vitter admitted connections to a Washington D. C. call-girl ring directly in his announcement statement.

“I am a proud family man, the father of two great children, and Peachy and I celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary just last week,” Melancon said.

The congressman, serving his third term from the 3rd Congressional District, is the only Democrat among the state's seven-member House delegation.

“...Those insiders need to spend a lot less time scoring political points or sticking it to the other guy,” Melancon said in his announcement. “They need to come out of their corners and bring people together because, no matter if you are in Mamou or Monroe, it's not whether it's a Republican idea or a Democratic idea, the only question is does it make sense for Louisiana?”

Considered one of the stronger potential Democratic opponents to Vitter, Melancon has been under heavy fire for months by the Republican National Central Committee. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) responded immediately to his announcement against Vitter on Friday.

“Whether he's championing President Obama's bloated spending agenda, supporting the Democrats' job-killing card check legislation or voting hand-in-hand with Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi 93 percent of the time in 2008, Charlie Melancon has clearly demonstrated that he is not in touch with the issues that are important to the people of Louisiana,” said NRSC spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson.

“I'm a pro-life, pro-gun, Southern Democrat,” Melancon said in his announcement. “I have an 'A' rating with the [National Rifle Association], and I have been an avid hunter and fisherman my entire life. I am a proud centrist – a Blue Dog – a straight-up-the-middle fighter for the little guy who is struggling to make ends meet.”

Melancon is the son and grandson of sugar cane farmers. He served in the Louisiana House of Representatives in the late '80s and early '90s before heading the American Sugar Cane League, the industry's lobbying group.

A video of the congressman's announcement is available at his new website,

The NRSC has put out a web video, “Who is Charlie Melancon?” which is available at