Mary Landrieu is running for reelection to the U.S. Senate in Louisiana.
Landrieu has been one of the senate’s most vocal leaders on education reform since she was first elected in 1996. She reached across the aisle soon after arriving in D.C. to advance the D.C. Student Opportunity Scholarship Act of 1997. More than a decade later, she was still pushing the envelope – in 2008, she sponsored a bipartisan bill honoring the achievements of charter school students.
As the Senior Senator from Louisiana and sister of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Mary is a uniquely credible advocate for the dramatic changes underway in New Orleans. Of charter schools’ role in the recovery, she said: “The educational entrepreneurship of public charter schools has been integral to the city's recovery. They are inspiring positive changes throughout the system, as other schools work to cultivate the same benefits.”
Landrieu was also one of a few moderate Democratic senators who worked tirelessly on a proposal for meaningfully changing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Louisiana consistently poses a tough challenge for statewide Democrats. When Landrieu was elected to the senate in 1996, she won by 5,800 votes out of 1.7 million cast. In 2008, her reelection race was by far the closest of any Democratic incumbent. Without the excitement of having President Obama on the ticket, we expect 2014 to be much closer.
In her past reelection bids, Landrieu raised more than double her opponents’ fundraising totals but, this cycle, she begins with less of a head start. One likely opponent, Congressman Bill Cassidy, already has two million dollars on hand, just $500,000 less than Landrieu.
This promises to be the tightest race among DFER’s federal priorities for 2014. Senator Landrieu needs your immediate, generous support in order to keep leading her peers in Washington.