Vance McAllister, a political newcomer with the backing of the popular “Duck Dynasty” TV family, was elected Saturday as Louisiana’s newest member of Congress.
McAllister, who largely self-funded his campaign, beat establishment candidate Neil Riser, a state senator, in a special runoff election for the vacant 5th District seat.
Both men are Republicans.
With almost all of the vote counted, McAllister had a commanding lead.
McAllister, a businessman with multiple companies, ran as a political outsider, capitalizing on frustration with politicians and Congress. As a point of pride during the campaign, he said he’d never been to Washington.
Riser, a funeral home owner in the Senate since 2008, campaigned on his experience in the Legislature and with the support of tea party groups.
McAllister’s ability to reach the runoff in a pack of 14 candidates, including six elected officials, caught many by surprise. He made the runoff with little outside help, no prior name recognition and no heavyweight fundraising.
His friendship with “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson helped draw attention to his long-shot bid for office, and McAllister’s own deep pockets paid for most of his campaign expenses.
McAllister spent at least $800,000 of his own money on the race, according to the Federal Election Commission. By comparison, Riser raised a similar amount and put no personal wealth into the campaign.
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.