A dozen candidates have signed up to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, including an outspoken former sheriff whose independent challenge could rob Vitter of conservative votes in the fall.
State Rep. Ernest Wooton, a former sheriff from Belle Chasse southeast of New Orleans, unexpectedly entered the Senate race Friday stating his frustration over the state and federal government response to the offshore oil spill.
Wooton quit the Republican party, bypassing the primaries to directly face Vitter on Nov. 2 as an independent. Separately, a little-known Republican also registered by Friday's deadline to force Vitter into an August primary.
Six of Louisiana's seven congressmen are seeking re-election and just one appears unopposed.
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