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Riser to run for Alexander’s seat

VIDALIA — Louisiana Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, announced plans to run for Louisiana’s 5th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander said Tuesday he plans to retire from position on Sept. 26 and become the head of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs — a position that is paid $130,000 per year, according to the governor’s office.

A special election will be Oct. 19 to fill the seat. If needed, a runoff election will be Nov. 16.


Riser said his experience in the Louisiana Senate makes him a good candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I currently represent 10 of the 24 parishes in the district,” he said.  “The remainder that I don’t represent are very similar. I already represent a portion of Rapides and Ouachtia Parish, which contain Alexandria and Monroe.”

Riser said he would focus on getting a farm bill passed and limiting government spending, if elected.

“I think that it’s what the people of my district want,” he said. “I’ve been watching what is going on in Washington. Government spending is out of control.”

Riser is already getting support for the run from fellow Louisiana congressman.

State Rep. Andy Anders, D-Vidalia, said he supports Riser regardless who runs against him.

“Neil has always helped me with my needs regardless of party lines,” Anders said. “I am certainly going to help raise money and do whatever it takes to help him win the election.”

Sen. Francis Thompson, D-Delhi, also spoke positively about Riser.

“He is a leader, a very dependable person and has a lot of talent,” Thompson said. “He is young and aggressive. I think he would make a good senator.”

Riser said he is currently calling friends and fellow politicians to garner support and is arranging public appearances.