Vitter Dodges a Right-Wing Bullet

With his re-election campaign coming up next year, Louisiana Sen. David Vitter has been working hard to seal off his right flank from any potential challengers – most notably the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, who was being courted to launch his own campaign and who was, just last month, saying it was something he was seriously considering.

Fortunately for Vitter, Perkins has apparently decided to take a pass:

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins announced that he will not challenge Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) in a Republican primary, giving the embattled freshman senator a key boost as he seeks re-election.

Louisiana Republican chairman Roger Villere, Jr. told POLITICO he received a letter from Perkins today informing him that he was not running and, more importantly, was endorsing Vitter.

“I am grateful for those who’ve encouraged me to consider returning to elected office, but this is not the right time. Along those lines, I would like members of the State Central Committee to know that I support Senator David Vitter’s bid for reelection in 2010,” Perkins wrote in the letter.

Perkins’ support could help persuade social conservatives, turned off by the senator’s involvement in the DC Madam scandal, to back him for another term.