Sen. David Vitter earned a Republican primary challenger minutes before the filing deadline, and we're now getting a vague suggestion from a Louisiana pol that dirt will emerge on that challenger; if, by some chance, it does, Louisiana's Senate race just might be the ugliest in the country.


The vague specter of dirt on former Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Chet Traylor was raised in a radio interview today by former Louisiana Christian Coalition Chair Sally Campbell, a supporter of Vitter's who now lives in Mississippi (having been displaced by Hurricane Katrina).

"I would certianly advise him to debate, especially some of these Republican opponents," Campbell said when asked by WRKF's Jim Engster whether Vitter should debate his opponents.

"This Chet Trayner [sic], I don't know if he will, but there's some--ah, haha--there's some things there that go to character that certainly need to come out with this former Supreme Court justice," Campbell said. (To listen, skip to the 49th minute here.)

This is a nonspecific insinuation by a Vitter supporter who also messed up Traylor's name. But evidently she thinks some damaging bit of character evidence exists, and as the former leader of the state's Christian Coalition, she is well tied into Louisiana Republican politics.

Vitter already has two major skeletons well outside his closet--his prostitution scandal, and the controversy over staffer Ben Furer, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and then, so the rumor goes, appointed to handle women's issues in Vitter's office (it has been reported that he handles abortion)--and Democrats will likely bring those matters up at every turn. Traylor, for his part, doesn't seem to want to harp on them: "I think y'all have done a pretty good job of that," Traylor said when asked about it by the Monroe News Star this week.

It seems there's always lots of dirt floating around in Louisiana politics, not all of which rises to the surface or is reported, but the possibility of more being revealed is always exciting.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.