BATON ROUGE — Honesty is the best policy for former attorney general candidate Geri Broussard Baloney, and her endorsement of Jeff Landry reflects her principles.
“Jeff Landry is an honest man and, as attorney general, he will eliminate Mr. Caldwell’s entitlement program – the 'Buddy System,'" Baloney said. "In order for our (attorney general) to be fair and impartial, he cannot be beholden to a select group of powerful politicos and donors like Buddy Caldwell is."
Caldwell, the incumbent attorney general, will be facing Landry, a former congressman from southwest Louisiana, in the Nov. 21 runoff ballot.
Aside from eliminating Caldwell’s “Buddy System,” Baloney said Landry will tackle the rampant crime that she says has plagued Louisiana under Caldwell.
“Jeff knows that you can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results," Baloney said. "Year after year, Louisiana has one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation while Buddy Caldwell sits idly and does nothing. Education and reducing recidivism are the answer (to the high crime rate), and Jeff knows that."
Baloney, who announced her endorsement side by side with Landry at a Press Club of Baton Rouge forum, is a lifelong Democrat while Landry is a Republican. Their differences, however, did not affect Baloney’s choice.
It was Landry’s conviction that impressed her.
“I’m a lifelong Democrat and I am proud of that," Baloney said. "I have a deep respect for people with conviction. Jeff Landry has conviction. He is a lifelong Republican who says and does what he believes is right. And while I may not always agree with it, I will always respect him for it."
Baloney said she doesn't have that same respect for Caldwell.
"Buddy Caldwell is a turncoat," she said. "He was a Democrat as long as it was good for him. Then he changed his tune as the state turned redder. We cannot have a person lacking in conviction and strong moral fiber in a position as important as attorney general.”
The battle for who will be attorney general is still up in the air. Caldwell, despite being a two-term incumbent, earned only 35 percent of the vote while Landry earned 33 percent in the Oct. 24 primary election.
Baloney, however, has known with certainty which vote she will cast.
“He is prayerful," she said of Landry. "Like any of us, he's earned his stripes. He's had successes; he's made mistakes. And that promotes compassion, which is a strong quality in any public servant.”