Only in a state whose politics are notoriously wild could a United States senator best known for his involvement in a sex scandal still be considered the odds-on favorite for governor. And only in Louisiana could a small-town lawmaker flip that script with the help of private investigators, a rogue sheriff, a purple party bus, a gaggle of trial lawyers, and an ad blitz questioning the front runner’s choice of “prostitutes over patriots.”
Long Shot is the story of Louisiana’s 2015 race for governor — but the story of John Bel Edwards’ improbable victory over David Vitter holds lessons for candidates and voters in all 50 states. It’s an inconceivable and sometimes hysterical odyssey that unfolds against the unique backdrop of Louisiana’s back roads, bayous, barrooms, and ballrooms.
Tyler Bridges and Jeremy Alford, two veteran political reporters in Louisiana, take readers deep into the inner workings of the Edwards and Vitter campaigns. To document this unforgettable ride, they interviewed more than 100 of the people who cut the deals, launched the attacks, and even played both sides. Clancy DuBos, one of the state’s foremost political analysts, brought his tremendous knowledge to bear as he edited the book.
Long Shot is a can’t-put-it-down romp about the unforgiving terrain of Bayou State politics and the people who are trying to tame it. With never-before-published details on the 2015 race as well as Louisiana’s storied past, this is a must-have addition to any serious political bookshelf.
About the Author
Tyler Bridges is a freelance journalist who splits his time among New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lima, Peru (where his Peruvian wife and their daughter Luciana live). He principally reports for the Baton Rouge / New Orleans Advocate but also writes occasionally for The Washington Post and Politico Magazine. He formerly covered politics for the Miami Herald and The Times-Picayune and also was a South American correspondent for the Herald. His work at The T-P led to two books: Bad Bet on the Bayou: The Rise of Gambling in Louisiana and the Fall of Governor Edwin Edwards (2001) and The Rise of David Duke (1994). Among his awards, he was twice a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning teams at the Herald and received Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Award in 2010 for his South American coverage. He was a 2011-12 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. His wife Cecilia Tait played on three Olympic volleyball teams for Peru, captained the 1988 squad that won a silver medal, and is a member of the International Volleyball Hall of Fame.
Jeremy Alford is the publisher and editor of the LaPolitics family of publications. Elected officials, lobbyists, campaign hands, reporters, and other subscribers have relied on LaPolitics Weekly, Tuesday Tracker, and LaPolitics.com for their insider political news since 1991. Jeremy’s syndicated news and opinion packages are also carried by more than 25 newspapers and magazines from across Louisiana. His bylined work appears regularly in The New York Times and he has written for The Dallas Morning News, Associated Press, and Campaigns & Elections magazine. His political broadcast service, LaPolitics Wire, is licensed to five Louisiana television stations and he has served as an analyst-source for CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, and NPR. When not waiting around for another election, Mardi Gras, duck season, or fall fishing to roll around, Jeremy enjoys a somewhat quiet existence in Baton Rouge with his wife Karron and their young children Zoe and Keaton.
"Louisiana has long had fascinating politics, but the 2015 Governor's race was one for the ages. In Long Shot, we are taken behind the scenes to learn what the key players thought, said and did at each critical juncture. Even those who watched the race closely will learn and benefit from the first pages to the last.”
--CHARLIE COOK, Shreveport native and editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report in Washington, D.C.
“AJ Liebling once wrote that ‘Louisiana politics is of an intensity and complexity that are matched’ only in Lebanon. With Long Shot, Tyler Bridges and Jeremy Alford make clear that Liebling's description still captures what may be America's most singular state. The forces of polarization threaten Louisiana's unique political culture as sure as climate change erodes the state's coast. But as Bridges and Alford deftly explain in this romp of a book, Louisiana still resists easy categorization.”
--JONATHAN MARTIN, national political correspondent for The New York Times
“Long Shot captures the spirit, anguish and national importance of this extraordinary election. Bridges and Alford use their well-honed skills as political reporters to tell a fascinating story of how scandal, persistence and brutal attacks can shape an election. Only in Louisiana? Maybe not.”
--RON FAUCHEUX, political analyst and pollster, former editor of CAMPAIGNS & ELECTIONS Magazine, and former Louisiana state legislator
“Great read. Fascinating race. Shows the power of money and special interests in politics. Every voter should read this book to fully understand the dangers posed by such power.”
--BUDDY ROEMER, former member of Congress and governor of Louisiana