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|Cooksey ends speculation on Senate race|
Former Congressman Dr. John Cooksey ended any speculation Monday that he may enter the 2010 Republican Party primary election against U.S. Sen. David Vitter.
Cooksey, an ophthalmologist from Monroe, issued the following statement to The Ouachita Citizen:
"I am not running for the U.S. Senate against David Vitter.
"When I was in Washington as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Republican Party under the leadership of Newt Gingrich was successful because we strived for smaller government, lower taxes and a balanced budget.
"The Republican Party that evolved under the guidance of the George W. Bush administration represented a big-spending agenda that, quite frankly, mirrored a liberal Democratic Party philosophy, which I firmly believe is wrong for Louisiana and America as a whole.
"In light of the direction the country appears to be taking under the leadership of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, it is imperative that the Republican Party re-establish itself as the party of smaller government, lower taxes and a balanced budget. Frivolously throwing away taxpayer money on expanding government under the guise of a so-called economic stimulus package while advocating higher taxes represents a plan for America that is clearly wrong for America, and I firmly believe history will prove me correct in that regard.
"While I do not always agree with David Vitter's position on social issues, I believe David Vitter does a good job representing the people of Louisiana on fiscal matters. If David Vitter emerges as the Republican nominee in the 2010 Senate race in Louisiana, I will vote for him."
Last week, The Hill newspaper in Washington reported Cooksey was contemplating opposing Vitter in the Republican primary election in 2010. The Hill news article was based on a report first published by a political web site, bayoubuz.com.
Cooksey, a conservative Republican on fiscal matters, represented the 5th District of Louisiana in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997-2003. When Cooksey was elected to the U.S. House in 1996, he vowed to serve no more than three terms in the House. In 2002, Cooksey mounted an unsuccessful campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.