July 12th, 2010
05:57 PM ET
4 years ago

After tumultuous first term, Vitter draws a primary challenge

Sen. David Vitter now faces a credible threat in the Louisiana GOP primary.
Sen. David Vitter now faces a credible threat in the Louisiana GOP primary.

Washington (CNN) - Scandal plagued Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter has drawn a last minute primary challenger, who points, in part, to Vitter’s series of first-term controversies as a reason for jumping in the race.

Retired State Supreme Court Justice Chet Traylor, who filed his candidacy on Friday, told CNN that while he wouldn't comment directly on Vitter's problems, "we wouldn't be in this position if we had a senator who could get results."

Traylor went further in an interview with ABC News published Monday, saying he was particularly concerned about reports that a Vitter aide who had repeated brushes with the law, including an arrest for attacking an ex-girlfriend with a knife, was allowed to maintain employment in Vitter's office. The aide has since resigned.

"That was a concern for a lot of people," Traylor told ABC. "And certainly to women."

In 2007, Vitter himself was linked to a well-known prostitution ring, and later admitted to a "very serious sin."

But it appeared that Vitter would avoid a serious challenge in the GOP primary, before Traylor entered the race on Friday at the last moment.

Traylor told CNN Monday that while he had been considering a run since last summer; it wasn't until the last two weeks that he took another look at the race, after being flooded with calls urging him to run.

Some of those calls came from within the GOP Louisiana establishment, Traylor noted.

Asked if he can amass the necessary political operation to mount a serious challenge to Vitter in the short run-up to the primary, Traylor said, "I certainly hope so, I believe so" before adding that "I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think I could win."

Vitter initially avoided a credible primary challenger when Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, announced last year that he would not seek the GOP Senate nomination in 2010.

The Louisiana Senate primary is scheduled for August 28. The Republican nominee will face off in the November general election against presumptive Democratic nominee Rep. Charlie Melancon, another opponent Traylor likes his chances against.

"I like them very well," Traylor said. "I didn't get in this with the idea of losing."


Filed under: 2010 • David Vitter • Louisiana
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    I had to say something about the RNC criticizing Obama for playing golf...

    Where was Bush for 5 days during Katrina?

    Eating cake with McCain, and while Obama is getting 20 billion out of BP, Republicans are issuing apologies to BP for the mess it made.

    Any questions you right wing freaks???

    July 12, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  2. Misognosists for Vitter

    Plus all the money he gets from big oil, makes him the perfect G-O-BP candidate

    July 12, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. Ted

    Good bye Vitter, you scandalalous member of the Grand Obstructionist Party AKA the party of NO. But I bet all the GOP heavies circle you and tell everyone you are sorry and you won't do it again. Same old crap, different GOP member.

    July 12, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Good BOTH Louisiana Senators gotta go. Vitter touting family values while hiring the DC hooker madame = dirty rotten 2-faced politician.

    July 12, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. NVa Native

    As our representatives are a reflection of their constituents – with Vittner representing the people of Louisiana – it's no wonder the state is continually on the low end of acheivement in all areas. But with their high scores on the jobless rate at least they're in the top five with something! So I guess Vitner is the right lizard ..... er... legislator for Louisiana.

    July 12, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  6. roro

    Why are Vitter, Sanford, Ensign, DeMint and others like them still in the Congress? These guys are not worthy of their positions.

    July 12, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. marxist dogs are out of control

    "Scandal plagued" ???? Obama, Pelosi, Dodd, Bahney Fwank are scandal plagued and make the Vitter look like a saint.

    July 12, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  8. Luke Brown

    Vitter is a disgrace. He hasn't done anything for this state. Why not give Traylor a chance?

    July 12, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  9. JoJo

    A man who would lie to his wife and humiliate her publically will surely lie to you and to me. Throw the bum out.

    July 12, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    I usually side with the republicans, but I think this hypocrite needs to go. He has proven himself to be a sleazeball.......On second thought, maybe he should just change his party affiliation to democrat. He would fit right in.

    July 12, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. mack Johnson

    Divine intervention–perhaps it cuts more than one way? Vittner posited (words to the effect) that God was draining the swamp in the Ninth Ward during Katrina. Maybe Judge Traylor's entrant into the senate race represents divine intervention in removing Vittner from the sentate seat.

    July 12, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  12. Sloop

    Diaper Boy , just another Republican family values hypocrite.

    July 12, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    The man (Yuk) makes me sick. He and Ensign flaunted their affairs and still are in the Senate.

    When is Ensign going to be charged and kicked out? How can ANY FEMALE OR MALE vote for these two slime-bags?

    July 12, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |