Vitter's Challenger Has a Past of His Own

Last week, former Louisiana Christian Coalition Executive Director Sally Campbell suggested in a radio interview that Chet Traylor, who is challenging Sen. David Vitter in a Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, had some skeletons in his closet.

"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 of Traylor, who served on the state's Supreme Court from 1997 to 2009.

At the time, it was unclear just what Campbell was talking about. Now, that dirt has apparently come out: the Monroe News Star's Stephen Largen reports:

But Traylor has his own ethical questions that could threaten the upstanding image his campaign has opted to present. They include:

n His complicated romantic history, including allegations of affairs with two married women.

n A lawsuit filed by Traylor's stepsons, who say Traylor has resisted efforts to collect information on the estate of their dead mother, Traylor's former wife, Peggy McDowell Traylor.

Traylor contends he's done nothing unethical in his personal conduct.

"I've done nothing I'm ashamed of," he said.

"I've done everything I've done in the open."

Sounds like what Campbell was alluding to. If so, then the August 28 primary will pit Traylor's alleged affairs and lawsuit from stepsons against Vitter's DC Madam patronage and the retention of a staff member accused of holding his girlfriend at knifepoint, then the assignment of abortion to that staffer as an issue. Largen reports that Traylor and his campaign manager have said there's little difference between Traylor and Vitter politically, and while Traylor has signaled little interest in making a stink about Vitter's prostitution scandal, it seems scandal may take on added significance in this race, barring much policy disagreement.