Louisiana Democrats looking to regain footing with tour

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 31, 2012

By David Vitrano


LAPLACE – The Louisiana Democratic Party is in the midst of a 35-city “Back to Basics” tour of the state that will swing through the River Parishes Friday.

LDP Executive Director and Reserve native Renee Lapeyrolerie said the tour is hitting most of the state on the week-and-a-half-long tour.

“We wanted to get some of our smaller markets,” said Lapeyrolerie. “The rest are places where we’ve seen a revitalization of the party.”

That revitalization is one of the main impetuses for the tour, a first for the current administration.

Despite reports that Louisiana is trending more and more toward the right, Lapeyrolerie and other members of the party see the opportunity for party growth, especially at the local level.

“We realized we do elect Democrats on a local level,” she said. “We’re winning elections on a local level in every parish.”

She said the tour will also serve to prepare the party for the next major election.

During elections last fall, the Democratic Party failed to field viable candidates in many key races. She hopes the tour will help to remedy this situation.

“I think we weren’t preparing for it like we’re doing now,” said Lapeyrolerie. “With all of us working together, we can impact statewide races.”

At each of the stops the LDP will also try to identify and prepare potential candidates for future elections, according to Lapeyrolerie.

Lastly, the tour will energize localized Democrat bases at a time when morale may be on the wane.

“They can see that their organizing efforts do matter,” said Lapeyrolerie.

At each stop on the tour both Louisiana Democratic Party Chairman Buddy Leach and Lapeyrolerie, and while the tour targets those who are already part of the Democratic Party, Lapeyrolerie said any interested individual may attend.

“Anybody who wants to be a part of the change,” she said.

The tour will make two stops in the River Parishes Friday. At 10 a.m., the tour will stop in Convent at the St. James Parish Courthouse on River Road. Then at noon the tour will come to LaPlace with a stop at the New Bull’s Corner Restaurant on Airline Highway.

After stopping in the area, the tour will continue to the New Orleans area before wrapping up on the Northshore on Saturday.