With less than a year to go until Louisiana’s highly anticipated gubernatorial race, the state’s two U.S. senators have said they are considering running for governor and plan to announce their decisions soon, may -be in the next few days.
In a routine press call on Tuesday, Republican Senator Bill Cassidy told reporters he was considering the gubernatorial race, had made a decision, and would “make that announcement later this week. “, The Advocate reports. Cassidy’s comment comes a day after fellow senator and fellow Louisiana Republican John Kennedy made a similar statement. statement.
“Over the past year, Louisianans have repeatedly asked me to come home to serve as governor in these trying times,” Kennedy said in a statement Monday. “(My wife) and I love the people of Louisiana. We’ve always listened to them, so I’m seriously considering running for governor. I will announce my decision soon.
Cassidy was first elected to Congress in 2015 and easily won re-election in 2020. Last week, Kennedy won a second six-year term in the Senate while fending off 12 challengers and avoiding a runoff.
Both Cassidy and Kennedy have millions in campaign funds on hand — Cassidy with $2.9 million and Kennedy with $13.6 million, according to the Federal Election Commission — thanks to money raised in the presidential race. federal elections. The money can be used by political action committees supporting their candidacies for state office.
The 2023 gubernatorial race is expected to attract several strong GOP candidates as term limits prevent current Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, from seeking a third consecutive term. And although the state legislature is Republican-dominated, Louisiana is the only Deep South state with a Democrat as governor, opening up a huge opportunity for Republicans hoping to win the state’s top government job.
Although the election is less than a year away, so far only Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has officially announced his candidacy. A conservative Republican and staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, Landry has already received a early approval from the Louisiana Republican Party — an announcement last week that sparked outrage from potential candidates who have yet to officially throw their hats in the ring.
A list of other Republicans interested in the governorship is slowly growing.
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser confirmed to reporters in August that he planned to join the race and hit the campaign trail in 2023. Louisiana Treasurer John Schroder told supporters in January that he also planned to show up. U.S. Representative Garret Graves and State Senator Sharon Hewitt have also indicated they are considering the contest for the state’s top job.
But so far, it’s unclear who will emerge as the Democratic nominee.