"The doctor is in the House, and now he's going to the Senate," crowed U.S. Sen. David Vitter on Dec. 6 at the election night victory party for fellow Republican Bill Cassidy. It's possible Louisiana could have two doctors in the Senate by 2016. U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden — a former U.S. Navy physician and family doctor in private practice — told the magazine Roll Call last week that he's interested in the seat currently held by U.S. Sen. David Vitter, who already has formed an exploratory committee to run for governor next year.
"I'm very interested in that possibility," Fleming told Roll Call. "Sen. Vitter is quite conservative, and I think we need to replace a good strong conservative with another conservative." Fleming added he had been "talking with folks back home" about the possibility.
Should Vitter win the governorship and step down from the Senate, he would appoint his own temporary successor, who would have a clear advantage in the November 2016 election.
Fleming was first elected from Louisiana's 4th Congressional District in 2008 and has been a reliably conservative vote on fiscal and social issues, serving as a member of the Tea Party Caucus founded by Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who chose not to seek re-election this year.