Katrina still reverberates as La. votes

"On the issues that matter to people — jobs, education and health care — [voters] believe Democrats can do a better job, and I believe I could do a good job," Cazayoux said.

He noted his background as a former prosecutor who has promoted legislation to aid law enforcement agencies, including measures to crack down on sexual predators.

Cazayoux said he has a "record of building coalitions across party lines." He added: "Although I am a Democrat, I've always been able to work with Republicans very well in getting things done."

Jackson's campaign identifies education as "the single most important issue" and also has identified health care and transportation issues.

Another Democratic candidate is Andy Kopplin, who headed the state's hurricane recovery agency for more than two years. Kopplin also has the unusual distinction of having served as chief of staff to Republican Gov. Mike Foster, who served from 1995-2003, and his Democratic successor, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who served from 2003-07.

Melissa Landry, Kopplin's communications director, said that "speaks volumes about Andy's ability as a leader."

"Andy brings an approach to getting things done that's not about politically calculated maneuvering. He's very results-oriented," Landry said.

The Democratic field is rounded out by Jason DeCuir, a lawyer who narrowly lost a state Senate race in 2007, and Joe Delatte, a construction worker.

1st District

In the 1st District, the leading Republican candidate in the primary election — and the favorite to succeed Jindal in the strongly conservative-leaning district — appears to be state Sen. Steve Scalise, who sought this seat in 2004 but later withdrew to defer to Jindal, who was overwhelmingly elected to the first of two terms. Among the conservative community in Washington, D.C., Scalise has support from the Club for Growth, the political organization that backs candidates who support cutting taxes and spending.

Scalise is running in a primary that also includes state Rep. Tim Burns; Slidell mayor Ben Morris, who has a background in the military and in law enforcement; and David Simpson, a businessman.

The lower-profile Democratic primary includes Gilda Reed, a psychology professor at the University of New Orleans, and Vinny Mendoza, a real estate investor and frequent candidate for office. Reed began running for this seat back in March 2007.

© Copyright 2008 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All Rights Reserved

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