Superficially, it would seem as if Gary Landrieu's goal in entering the governor's race was to misdirect voters who might mistake him for his cousin Mitch -- or at least with the famous branch of the family, the one that has given the world two New Orleans mayors and a U.S. senator.

That way, Gary Landrieu might peel off enough Democratic votes from incumbent John Bel Edwards to keep the governor shy of the majority he'd need to win in the Oct. 12 primary and avoid a runoff. There's no realistic scenario under which Landrieu would be Edwards' opponent in that hypothetical matchup, but at least he'd be a spoiler.

Rather than cause confusion, though, Landrieu's agenda is apparently to clear any up that might exist -- in other words, to make sure that nobody is going to confuse him with any of THOSE Landrieus.

For one thing, while the Landrieus who've been elected to office are die-hard Democrats, Gary Landrieu is running as an independent. While they're closely associated with New Orleans, he lists a Metairie address. And while Mitch Landrieu led the charge as mayor to take down the city's Confederate monuments, Gary Landrieu is campaigning in their defense. Another of his main platform planks is to build a border wall, something most Democrats oppose and, not incidentally, is the purview of the federal government, not the state.

In case that wasn't enough to emphasize the difference, Gary Landrieu recently dropped the N-word on a radio show. His point, it seems, was to talk about how hard it was as a child to be associated with outspokenly integrationist Mayor Moon Landrieu.

"Let me tell you, when I was a kid we learned about protecting ourselves and defending ourselves because we were called a lot of ugly names as children," Landrieu said on a show called "The Right Chicks" on New Orleans' WGSO. "As an eight-year-old, they called me, 'Oh, there's the n*-----lovers right there." The comment has gone over poorly, to nobody's surprise.

Complicating matters somewhat is that Moon Landrieu himself used the term in public in last year, during a forum in which he misattributed a sentiment to an aide. Recalling his goal to hire African-American employees into professional jobs for the first time, Landrieu said the aide accused him of wanting to ward off potential doubts by hiring a "supern*--*r."

Still, it's hard to believe that anyone paying even a little attention would confuse Gary Landrieu's politics with Moon's, Mitch's or Mary's.

And they're all probably just fine with that.

-- Stephanie Grace is a columnist for The Advocate in Baton Rouge.