This item originally appeared in the November 11, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
BY JULIE MILLER
Associate Managing Editor
U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, said it all on his re-election Web site, http://rodneyalexanderforcongress.com, last Wednesday.
Alexander left his message, "Thank You!" to voters in bold letters on the site.
Alexander, who was unavailable for comment as of press time, was re-elected to Congress with 59 percent of the vote Nov. 2.
Voters disregarded Alexander's controversial switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party on Aug. 6, the last day for qualifying for the Nov. 2 ballot.
"It helped him a great deal," Dr. Jason Pigg, an assistant professor of social sciences, said. "I think switching parties brought him a greater number of votes."
Pigg explained that Alexander's move was beneficial to him because Zelma Blakes, who received 25 percent of the votes Nov. 2, was the only other Democratic candidate running, and the party could have put more of their resources into her if they would have known.
"The Democrats had this sprung on them at the last minute," Pigg said. "Although, I think [Alexander] would have won either way as the incumbent."
The other Republican candidate, Jock Scott, received 16 percent of the votes.
Pigg said North Louisiana has become very conservative, leaning toward the Republican Party.
"It has transformed from the Solid South for Democrats to the Solid South for Republicans," Pigg said.
Adam Terry, Alexander's press secretary and a Tech journalism graduate, said the group has been working hard the past two years and is very optimistic about the re-election.
"We have been pleased with the people in the 5th District and are also very aware about the problems [they face]," Terry said.
According to Alexander's Web site, Alexander supports President George W. Bush's tax cuts, is working to improve the infrastructure of the district's transportation needs and supports Health Savings Accounts, which allow people to save for medical expenses tax-free.
Pigg said the next two years will be interesting while Alexander is in office.
"I think [Alexander] has strong support of Republican Party leadership," Pigg said.
"They will probably reward him with a good post in Congress, which might bring more funds to the District."
Terry said he and the rest of Alexander's team are excited about the next two years and are optimistic about it.
Terry said, "[Nov. 2] showed us that it's not about the party; it's about the performance."