By JIM BUTLER
Mike McConathy is a rookie trying to make the team; Alan Seabaugh a veteran hoping to change leagues. Both want the same position – senator from District 31 – in the Fall election.
Incumbent Louie Bernard of Natchitoches, elected in 2019, is not running for re-election.
The district beginning with this election now includes parts or all of 10 parishes, including a portion of west and south Rapides, and stretching to Toledo Bend in one direction and a minute part of Caddo/Bossier to the north.
McConathy’s campaign radiates from Natchitoches, where he was for years head basketball coach at NSU.
Seabaugh’s base is Caddo Parish, a mere sliver of which is in the district.
A Shreveport attorney, Seabaugh is a term-limited state representative who happens to fall just inside the reapportioned District 31 boundary.
Both candidates are Republicans.
Neither reported any contributions from Rapides Parish in 2022.
As of Dec. 31, both candidates listed a number of maximum allowable contributions from individuals and businesses near and far.
At year’s end, McConathy had $68,000 on hand of $120,000 raised beginning in September.
Seabaugh had $380,000 on hand. That includes carryover funds from previous years.
Contributions totaled $211,000.
Seabaugh reported loaning his campaign fund $50,000, which he also did in 2020 and 2021. The loans were outstanding at year’s end.
As might be expected for a 12-year legislator, Seabaugh had a host of PAC contributions, totaling $36,700.
He has an established voting record indicating how he is likely to vote on any number of issues, a barometer for special interests with specific interests and objectives.
McConathy, on the other hand, must persuade PACs, if he chooses to, that he will at the least listen to their lobbying cases.
He had received no PAC money as of Dec. 31.
Full reports can be viewed at the La. Ethics Administration website.
EDITOR’S NOTE: When this story was initially published Tuesday morning, it mistakenly stated legislative candidates would file campaign finance reports quarterly, but that is only required of statewide candidates and PACs making contributions. Legislative campaign finance reports are not due until 30 days before the October 14 primary.