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Louisiana Legislator Leaves GOP to Become Independent and Files For U.S. Senate

Ernest D. Wooton has been a Republican Representative in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, since 1999. Wooton recently changed his registration to Independent and filed for the U.S. Senate race in Louisiana, against GOP incumbent David Vitter.

Rep. Wooton represents the parish which is geographically closest to the oil spill and is expected to make that his main issue in running. He is also a former Sheriff of Plaquemines Parish, a position he held from 1984-1992. Rep. Wooton becomes the 4th Independent member of the 105 member Louisiana House of Representatives. The Speaker Pro Tem is Independent Rep. Joel Robideaux.

UPDATE: Richard Winger has also reported that the Louisiana Libertarian Party will have a primary for the office of U.S. Senate.

there is a contested primary for the Libertarian Party U.S. Senate nomination, between Anthony Gentile and Randall Hayes.  Thanks to Hayes for this information.  This is the first minor party primary in Louisiana since at least the 1910′s decade.

Hayes previously ran for Congress in District 6 as a member of the Constitution Party. Anthony Gentile previously ran for Governor and Congress in District 1 as an Independent.

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Trent Hill


  1. constitutionalist constitutionalist July 15, 2010

    the 4th Independent member of the 105 member Louisiana House of Representatives. The Speaker Pro Tem is Independent Rep. Joel Robideaux.

    Where are all the Ballot Access Geniuses to chime in on how bad the open-primary/runoff system is for independent politics?

  2. Trent Hill Trent Hill Post author | July 13, 2010


    I think you underestimate Wooton and Traylor. Both are savvy. Wooton won’t win–but he may be able to draw 5-10%, enough to cost Vitter the election. Wooton is very popular in Vitter’s area because of his leadership on the oil-spill issue, and he’s also fairly conservative. Traylor is sure to make the race about Vitter’s personal failings and he has had no problems raising money. I suspect many people will vote against Vitter in the primary and the general just as a reaction against his prostitution scandal. Ultimately I think he wins, but you’re underestimating all of Vitter’s opponents.

  3. Chiefpete Chiefpete July 13, 2010

    Wooten can save his money. It is clearly a race between Vitter, who will win outright; Traylor, who will give a hint of a battle, but not near enough; and Melancon, who doesn’t even know what is going on.

  4. whoduhwhat whoduhwhat July 13, 2010

    ALL RINOS please follow suit and leave the party. We already know who you are. Save your self the embarrassment of being squashed by Vitter in the voting booth because we like our Senator to stand tall and not waiver like charlie melancon brown.

  5. ProAmerica ProAmerica July 13, 2010

    All aboard! RINOS

  6. ETEE ETEE July 13, 2010

    Good Riddance, RINO’s!!!

  7. Trent Hill Trent Hill Post author | July 12, 2010

    Hayes is a former Constitution Party member, but has always identified as “libertarian”. Gentile formerly ran for office as an Independent (congress and governor) and called himself an “independent conservative”.

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