In The Politics of Autism, I write: "Support from the general public will be an important political asset for autistic people. Another will be their sheer numbers, since a larger population of identified autistic adults will mean more autistic voters and activists." Previous posts have discussed autistic officeholders and political candidates in New York, Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Washington State
Joshua Collins wanted to be the first openly autistic U.S. Congressperson in American history. While his campaign fell flat, another autistic candidate is still in the running. Louisiana Democrat Rob Anderson, who is on the autism spectrum, is a self-described progressive Southern Democrat campaigning to unseat two-term incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Clay Higgins in Louisiana’s third district.
Encompassing the Bayou State’s southwest and south-central regions, the third district has been in Republican control since 2011. The current race, however, has been described as one of two statewide Congressional competitions that are “expected to be competitive” for Democrats in the fall. According to Mark Ballard, capitol bureau editor at The Advocate, Anderson is running a “surprisingly strong challenge” in a four-way battle for the seat in the state’s November primary. If no candidate achieves a plurality, the top two vote-getters regardless of party will compete in a runoff election to determine the district’s next legislator.