Amoroso, Ourso at Odds on Taxes

Amoroso, Ourso at Odds on Taxes

Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso, the conservative leader on the Council, narrowly led a field of four candidates Feb. 21 in a Special Election to fill a vacancy in the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 66, which is located in the proposed City of St. George.

Amoroso received 1,512 votes, or 36 percent of the votes cast.  He will face former Metro Councilman Darrell Ourso, who received 1,477 votes, or 35 percent of the total.

The  runoff election will be Saturday, March 28.

Republican Rick Bond received 771 votes, or 18 percent, while former Communications Director of the state Democratic Party, Susan Nelson, who ran with No Party designation, received 483 votes, or 11 percent.

Nelson, a leader in the effort to kill the proposed City of St. George, based much of her campaign on opposition to St. George.  However, her effort fell flat, and the first and second place finishers, who strongly supported the incorporation of St. George, received more than 70 percent of the vote between them.

Bond, who included many libertarian ideas in his campaign, was reasonably well funded and ran a competitive campaign.  However, in the end, he ran a disappointing third place with 18 percent of the vote.

Both Amoroso and Ourso are registered Republicans.  However, Amoroso has the official endorsement of the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish.

Both are conservative on most issues, but Amoroso says they disagree on taxes.  “If you look at Darrell’s record on the Council, he often supported raising taxes as the solution to problems,” he said.

With a budget shortfall, the legislature will be pressured to raise taxes, he said.  Now, more than ever, it is important to have fiscal conservatives in the legislature, he said.

Both Amoroso and Ourso say they are strongly pro-life, and both say they are committed to maintaining marriage as between one man and one woman.

The big challenge for both candidates as they approach the March 28 runoff is the problem of voter apathy.

A feeble 13.8 percent of registered voters went to the polls and voted Feb. 21, despite the candidates having spent a combined $200,000 to generate interest in their campaigns.

Now the candidates and their volunteers are on the streets going door to door, trying to motivate voters to go to the polls in early voting March 14-21 and on election day March 28.  It is a pitched battle, and each candidate knows that a handful of votes either way could make the difference.

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