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Elections: Follow the money in Louisiana's U.S. Senate, congressional campaigns

Greg Hilburn
Monroe News-Star
The presidential election is Nov. 3.

Louisiana's U.S. Senate and congressional candidates are making final, furious pushes during the stretch run for the Nov. 3 election, digging deep into their war chests to primarily fund TV blitzes if they can afford it.

Most can't.

Only nine candidates in Louisiana six congressional races and U.S. Senate race have raised at least $250,000 and six of those are incumbents, according to the latest Federal Election Commission campaign finance reports.

And of the seven races, the only race without an incumbent is the 5th Congressional District.

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Monroe and Alexandria are the populations hubs of the 5th District, where incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham of Alto isn't seeking reelection after sticking to a three-term limit campaign pledge.

Following is a breakdown of what the candidates have left to spend in each race to tell their stories to voters, who are already heading to the polls in record numbers for early voting, which continues through Oct. 27 except on Sunday:

► U.S. Senate: Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy has a mountain of cash on hand — $4.6 million — to defend his seat against his most well-funded opponent Democratic Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, who has raised $1.3 million during his campaign and has $681,133 cash on hand.

► First Congressional District: Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Metairie, the minority whip in the House, has amassed $6 million cash on hand. No one else reports any cash on hand.

► Second Congressional District: Incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond of New Orleans reported $951,525 cash on hand. No one else reported any cash on hand.

► Third Congressional District: Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins reported $243,826 cash on hand, less than half the total of any other incumbent Louisiana congressman, but only Democrats Braylon Harris of Lake Charles ($8,755) and Rob Anderson of DeQuincy ($2,695) reported any cash on hand in the race.

► Fourth Congressional District: Incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson of Benton reported $983,713 cash on hand. Democrats Kenny Houston of Shreveport ($2,280) and Ryan Trundle of Shreveport ($2,189) were the only other candidates to report any cash on hand.

► Fifth Congressional District: In Louisiana's only open seat, Republican Luke Letlow of Start leads the way with $341,712 cash on hand. Republican state Rep. Lance Harris was next with $119,685 cash on hand. Democrat Lemelle Martin of Ruston was next with $83,153 available, while Phillip Snowden, D-Monroe, reported $978 cash on hand and Republican Scotty Robinson of Monroe reported $286 available. Democrat Sandy "Candy" Christophe of Alexandria filed a report, but reported no cash on hand.

► Sixth Congressional District: Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Garret Graves of Baton Rouge has $2.2 million cash on hand, while Democrat Dartanyon Williams reported $4,885 available.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.