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State Senator Neil Riser to Run for 5th Congressional District Seat

Leaders from both parties voice intentions to run for U.S. Congress.

Within minutes of Congressman Alexander's announcement Tuesday afternoon, names were popping up as potential candidates to fill his seat in the Fifth Congressional District.
       
Alexander was first elected as a Democrat, but is now a Republican, so some say this position could go to either party.

"The run for his seat starts today," says ULM Political Science Professor John Sutherlin.

And that it did. Tuesday at least two people voiced their interest in filling the big shoes Congressman Rodney Alexander will leave behind.

"Losing that seat at the table will be an important loss for the state," says Sutherlin.

By the time he leaves office, Alexander will have put in 12  years in the U.S. Congress. Still State Senator Neil Riser says he's ready for the role.

"I'm serving right now my seventh year in the Louisiana State Senate. The Fifth Congressional District has 24 parishes 10 of those parishes are already in my senate district that I serve in now," says Sen. Riser.

A conservative, Riser believes the fifth district will remain red.

"I'm probably one of, if not the most conservative vote in the Louisiana State House and Senate both," says Sen. Riser.

But some democrats believe voters want a legislator further to the left.

"This is a seat, the fifth district, that is a largely democratic seat," says State Rep. Marcus Hunter.

He says he's seriously considering adding his name to the 2014 ballot.

"If my beloved constituency feels that I could do the job and I represent the true democratic beliefs and the true beliefs of all people in North Louisiana, then absolutely I would definitely consider it," says Rep. Hunter.

And political experts say expect decisions to be made quickly.

"People are going to start asking for money and making those rounds, because that race will be upon us very quick," says Sutherlin.

The race for the Fifth Congressional District seat is set for November 4, 2014.

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