National GOP on the ground in La. Senate race - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

National GOP on the ground in La. Senate race

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Louisiana Republican Party's efforts to defeat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu are getting an assist from the national GOP.

The Republican National Committee has placed staff and money in Louisiana to help build grassroots operations and recruit volunteers to walk neighborhoods, make phone calls and pass out flyers to oppose Landrieu's re-election in November, an effort called "Geaux Red."

Roger Villere, chairman of the state GOP, said the Republican Party of Louisiana has never had this level of direct cooperation with national party leaders.

"They usually come in 60, maybe 90 days at the most with a few people and help us out," he told the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday.

For the Senate race, Villere said the RNC has been involved since July, paying to have five employees on the ground in Louisiana. He expects that number to double by the spring.

Matt Pinnell, director of state parties for the Republican National Committee, said the goal in states across the country is to have volunteers in communities actively campaigning for GOP candidates. He said it's a model Democrats have used in previous election cycles.

Pinnell wouldn't detail the financial assistance the RNC is providing in Louisiana.

"Whatever that number needs to be, we're all in," he said.

Three Republicans are in the Senate race: U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, state Rep. Paul Hollis and retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness.

Landrieu is considered vulnerable because she is a Democrat in a Southern region that tends to vote Republican in national elections.

Kirstin Alvanitakis, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Democratic Party, said Landrieu will have similar levels of support from state and national Democratic organizations to help her win a fourth term.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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