GROWING FAST: List of "Potential" Secretary of State Candidates - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

GROWING FAST: List of "Potential" Secretary of State Candidates

The daughter of former Louisiana Secretary of State Fox McKeithen says she's considering a run for her father's old seat.   And, at least two state senators and the mayor of a major Louisiana city say you can add their names to the list of potential candidates.

Secretary of State Al Ater, who took over the office with this summer's death of Fox McKeithen, announced Wednesday he won't run for election to the secretary of state's post in the fall of next year.  In a statement released by his office, Ater said he believes politics should not be involved in the decisions that must be made about elections after the hurricanes and the office should be appointed, rather than elected, so it would be free of political party pressures.

McKeithen's daughter, Marjorie McKeithen, told WAFB 9 NEWS she's interested in the job.   Marjorie McKeithen says Ater is a close family friend and his decision not to run makes the idea of entering the race more attractive to her.  The Baton Rouge attorney, who turned 40 this month, says she will announce her decision after discussing the matter with her family over the next few weeks.   She came very close to unseating U.S. Congressman Richard Baker in 1998, losing by fewer than two percentage points.

Two state senators contacted by WAFB 9 NEWS , Francis Heitmeier, (D) New Orleans, and Mike Michot, (R) Lafayette, said they are also considering a run.   "I will make an announcment after the first of the year," Heitmeier said.   "Right now I'm too tied up working on the (state) budget," Heitmeier added.   Michot says he's very interested in the seat and hopes to announce his intentions soon.   "I think it would be a good job to have," Michot said.    Also throwing his name into the ring of "potential" candidates Wednesday was Shreveport Mayor Keith Hightower.  Because of term limits, Hightower, a two-term Democrat, can not seek re-election to his current position next year.     

-Paul Gates, Robb Hays/WAFB-TV
   THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.
  
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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