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Presenting the newest member of the House of Representatives, Vance McAllister of Louisiana:
Businessman Vance McAllister has won the special runoff election for a vacant northeast Louisiana congressional seat, notching an upset win over fellow Republican Neil Riser, according to the Associated Press.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, McAllister, a political newcomer, led Riser, a state senator who had won the support of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and much of the state’s GOP congressional delegation, 59.7 percent to 40.3 percent.
McAllister had spent a half-million of his own dollars, received endorsements from the high profile stars of the TV show Duck Dynasty, and while he supported Obamacare repeal, he also said that as long as Obamacare was going to be law, Louisiana should participate in its Medicaid expansion, because it would deliver health insurance to tens of thousands of poor Louisianans.
McAllister gambled big by tacking to the left and expressing support for certain planks of Obamacare – a move designed to win over low-income voters and Democrats, who were allowed to vote in the primary and runoff.
In a conservative district where Mitt Romney won more than 60 percent of the vote, McAllister’s soft line on Obamacare was a risky one. Riser - who made the law’s repeal a central campaign plank - clobbered his opponent on the issue, saying it was evidence that he was insufficiently conservative.
As NRCC chairman Greg Walden says, Obamacare is a political hurricane and will dominate the 2014 elections. The GOP's problem is that it doesn't know which way the wind is blowing.
Originally posted to The Jed Report on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 09:53 PM PST.