By Kris Perez - email
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - U.S. Sen. David Vitter has his first official challenger for next year's elections. Rep. Charlie Melancon announced he'll challenge first-term Sen. Vitter.
Melancon, who touts himself as an anti-abortion, pro-gun centrist and a member of the "Blue Dog" caucus of fiscally conservative Democrats in Congress, said in his written announcement that he is running against Vitter because Louisiana needs a more "bipartisan" approach in the Senate.
Vitter has been anticipating Melancon's announcement. For weeks, Vitter has been attacking Melancon in Internet ads and e-mails, casting Melancon as a supporter of President Obama's health care plans, even though Melancon voted against a Democrat-backed health plan in a House committee.