BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — With Louisiana's midterm elections just weeks away, Republican Congressional candidate Holden Hoggatt released a political ad Wednesday attacking three-term GOP U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins and calling him a “fraud.”
The 48-second video mocks Higgins’ attention-grabbing Crime Stoppers videos, in which the former sheriff’s deputy urges criminals of the state's Acadiana region to turn themselves in. The ad goes on to strike at Higgins’ voting record while in office, accusing him of “abandoning hurricane victims” following a series of storms that hit Southwest Louisiana two years ago.
Higgins, known as the “Cajun John Wayne,” has periodically stirred controversy with social media posts since his 2016 election to Congress — including a Facebook post in 2020 promising he would “drop” armed protesters “where they stand.”
“We have a congressman we’re ashamed of right now,” Hoggatt said in a press release.
Louisiana’s federal races could be decided Nov. 8, as the state’s open primary system allows all candidates regardless of party run against each other for elected office. If no one candidate tops 50% in that primary, the top two vote-getters advance to a head-to-head runoff in December.
Hoggatt, a Lafayette prosecutor, is one of seven challengers seeking to unseat the congressman who represents Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District, which covers southwest parishes from the Atchafalaya to the Sabine.
But challengers face an uphill battle against Higgins. Based on the most recent reports from the Federal Election Commission, Higgins has $258,000 on hand for his campaign. Hoggatt has yet to report how much he has raised.
In addition, Higgins has easily been reelected twice and has received coveted endorsements — including from the Louisiana Republican Party.
Incumbents for all six of Louisiana’s congressional districts — U.S. Reps. Higgins, Garret Graves, Julia Letlow and Steve Scalise and Troy Carter — qualified for reelection and are likely favorites in the upcoming election. Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson was reelected to Congress without opposition after no other candidate signed up to run against him.