| Zachary Michael "Zach" Dasher
(Businessman, politician, and scion of the Duck Dynasty Robertson family)
|Born|| January 12, 1978 |
Place of birth missing
|Spouse|| Jill Elizabeth Galloway Dasher (married 2001)|
|Religion||Church of Christ|
Zachary Michael Dasher, known as Zach Dasher (born January 12, 1978), is a businessman from Calhoun in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, who ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate and a favorite of the Tea Party movement for Louisiana's 5th congressional district in the primary election held on November 4, 2014.
Dasher is the son of Gordon Michial Dasher (born August 1952) and the former Janice Ellen "Jan" Robertson (born May 1951), a Republican couple from West Monroe. Jan Dasher is the sister of Phil and Si Robertson. Zach Dasher received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the Church of Christ-affiliated Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. He and his wife of nineteen years, Jill Elizabeth Galloway Dasher (born February 1981), reside in rural Calhoun west of West Monroe in western Ouachita Parish. The couple home-schools their four children — Laela, Max, Baer, and Fred.
Dasher is the managing partner of 1LinkTechnology, which provides IT staffing services for global enterprises. Previously he worked in pharmaceutical sales for a biotechnology company, in real estate, and in fundraising for non-profit organizations. He has volunteered with various ministries through White's Ferry Road Church of Christ, of which he and his wife are members. He is involved in the campus ministry of the University Church of Christ at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
2014 congressional race
Before his declaration of candidacy for Congress in June 2014, Dasher had never before sought political office.
On June 16, Dasher announced his candidacy for the seat held by the short-term incumbent, his fellow Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz, located northeast of Monroe in Ouachita Parish. In Louisiana's nonpartisan blanket primary, all candidates compete together on one ballot regardless of party affiliation. Since no candidate obtained a majority vote on November 4, the top two candidates entered a December 6 runoff election, officially called the general election. Two other Republicans, Ed Tarpley, the former district attorney for Grant Parish, and small businessman Andrew Harris Brown (born June 1965) of Monroe, the son of a former state senator, were the first candidates to enter the race. Other Republicans who ran, included the victorious Ralph Abraham, a physician and a former veterinarian from Mangham in Richland Parish and former U.S. Representative and then Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Clyde Cecil Holloway (1943-2016) of Forest Hill in south Rapides Parish. Only one Democrat, Mayor Jamie Mayo of Monroe, an African-American, ran for the seat. Mayo had also been a candidate in the 2013 special election for the seat won by Vance McAllister. The ballot further included Green Party candidate Eliot S. Barron of New Orleans, who lived outside the district, and Libertarian Charles Saucier of Ponchatoula in Tangipahoa Parish in southeastern Louisiana.
Campaign promisesIn his 2014 announcement, Dasher described his reasons for seeking the congressional seat:
For too long, we've sat idly by while Washington politicians slowly gain control over every aspect of our lives. ... We did not send people to Washington to determine our rights. We sent them there to defend our rights, but that's not what they're doing.
Dasher has stated that had he been elected, he would have sought to reduce federal spending, for balancing of the federal budget, for free market principles, for a "child's right to life," for gun ownership rights under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and for privatization of veteran's insurance, for reduction of EPA regulations, for policy encouraging domestic production of energy, and for repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In contrast to incumbent Vance McAllister, Dasher opposed the expansion of Medicaid, saying that he "would not support anything that keeps people on government programs."
Dasher expressed concern for what he views as attempts to remove traditional religious practice from the public arena, saying that "our rights do not come from a bunch of elite politicians in Washington, D.C. They come from the Almighty God."
McAllister, a married man who ran on a platform of family values, was caught kissing a volunteer, the wife of one of McAllister's friends, two months after his election to Congress. After the breaking scandal, McAllister said that he would not run for a full term in the position but then announced his candidacy for reelection shortly after Dasher entered the race. The scandal made McAllister seem vulnerable for a first-term incumbent. In addition to Mayo, McAllister drew a large field of Republican challengers, some of whom, like Holloway, supported McAllister in his 2013 special election runoff contest against then state Senator Neil Riser, a Republican, who in 2020 became a state representative after having been term-limited in the upper chamber. Riser did not run in the regular 2014 election.
Dasher led in fundraising for the period officially reported in August, followed by Harris Brown and Ralph Abraham. In September, Mayo received an endorsement from liberal then U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, the Democrat who, in her own hard-fought campaign for reelection, widely declined involvement in other candidates' races.
On September 23, Phil Robertson released a radio commercial endorsing his nephew. Dasher also carried the backing of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee. In her endorsement, Palin stressed Dasher's opposition to abortion and support for the Second Amendment. Organizations backing Dasher included the political action committee of the Family Research Council, headed by former Louisiana state Representative]] Tony Perkins, Senate Conservatives Fund, and the Tea Party, which claimed to be the nation's largest tea party PAC, Citizens United, and the Club for Growth.
In the November 4 primary, Dasher finished a strong third in the congressional race with 53,627 votes (22.4 percent). Incumbent Vance McAllister ran fourth with 26,608 (11 percent). Former Representative Clyde Holloway finished in fifth palace with 17,877 votes (7 percent). Mayor Jamie Mayo led the field in the congressional race with 67,611 primary votes (28.2 percent) and entered a runoff with Republican Dr. Ralph Abraham, who ran second with 55,489 primary votes (23.2 percent). Abraham finished 1,862 votes ahead of Dasher to gain the coveted runoff berth. 26,606 votes (11.1 percent).
In the general election held on December 6, Abraham topped Mayo, 134,616 votes (64 percent) to 75,006 (36 percent). In 2019, Abraham ran unsuccessfully for governor. With a third place finish, he lost a runoff berth to fellow Republican Eddie Rispone of Baton Rouge who was then defeated by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.
- Zachary Dasher. Mylife.com. Retrieved on February 19, 2020.
- Zach Dasher announces candidacy for Congress in LA-05. KALB-TV Channel 5 (Alexandria) (June 16, 2014). Retrieved on September 24, 2014; material no longer on-line.
- Greg Hilburn (September 15, 2014). Challengers swamp McAllister in fundraising. Monroe News Star. Retrieved on February 19, 2020.
- Scott McKay (June 16, 2014). More ducks for Congress: Phil Robertson's nephew announces LA-05 run. The Hay Ride. Retrieved on February 19, 2020.
- Elizabeth Dias (June 16, 2014). Duck Dynasty Nephew to Run for Congress. Time. Retrieved on February 19, 2020.
- Julia O'Donoghue, "Duck Dynasty family cousin joins 5th District congressional race," The New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 16, 2014.
- Melinda Deslatte (August 31, 2014). After scandal, McAllister lacks incumbent’s edge. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on February 19, 2020.
- Cole Avery, "Mary Landrieu staying out of Edwin Edwards' bid for Congress," The New Orleans Times-Picayune,September 23, 2014.
- Mark Ballard (September 24, 2014). Duck Commander releases ad for Dasher. The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved on February 19, 2020.
- Greg Hilburn (October 22, 2014). Texas Sen. Cruz endorses Dasher in 5th District race. The Monroe News Star. Retrieved on February 19, 2020.
- Palin endorses Dasher in 5th district race. Alexandria Town Talk (September 10, 2014). Retrieved on February 19, 2020.
- Greg Hilburn. Two more conservative groups endorse Dasher. The Monroe News Star. Retrieved on February 19, 2020.
- Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo is a candidate for a fourth full term in office in the primary scheduled for June 2020. He faces, among other opponents, an Independent, businessman, Friday Ellis.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 4, 2014.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, December 6, 2014.