Rob Maness, the third-place finisher in Louisiana’s 2014 Senate campaign, is using the political group he formed last December, Gator PAC, to take some early snaps at potential rivals in Louisiana’s next Senate race in 2016.
In a press release sent out by the group on Wednesday, Maness called on Rep. Charles Boustany and state Treasurer John Kennedy, two Republicans who have shown interest in succeeding Sen. David Vitter if Vitter is elected governor this year, to “draw a line in the sand” on defunding Planned Parenthood.
Boustany has already sponsored legislation in the House to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and Kennedy, as state treasurer, has no means to do so. But Maness says as potential Senate candidates, they should pledge to stop tax dollars from going to the organization, even if it means shutting down the federal government by not allowing bills containing the funding to pass. Maness also praised a third potential Senate hopeful, GOP Rep. John Fleming, for a pledge to defund Planned Parenthood at all costs.
“If I was currently in the U.S. Senate, I would be standing with Ted Cruz in the fight to defund Planned Parenthood,” Maness wrote in a Gator PAC letter.
In positioning himself to the right of two leading Senate contenders, Maness joins Boustany and Kennedy, as well as Fleming, in a jumble of early competition for Vitter’s seat. With Vitter a favorite to win Louisiana’s gubernatorial race this fall, the interested parties, including Maness, are quietly laying the groundwork for campaigns.