How the governors race is shaping up with Kennedy out of the picture

Well now that Sen. John Kennedy (R) has said he will not be running it leaves the door wide open and we're still waiting on a decision from at least 3 others.
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 6:31 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Well now that Sen. John Kennedy (R) has said he will not be running it leaves the door wide open and we’re still waiting on a decision from at least three others. Republican candidate, state Attorney General Jeff Landry, responded to the news about Sen. Kennedy with a tweet saying, “I look forward to working with the senator as we fight for our state, which we both care about deeply. In an email sent to supporters yesterday, Sen. Kennedy said he will not be running for governor because he believes he can do more to help the state and country by staying in the Senate.

“Everything changed with Kennedy’s decision. That changed the inertia in the governor’s race and other races in the state,” said Political Analyst Jim Engster.

Both Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and state Treasurer John Schroder said they were waiting to see what Sen. Kennedy would do before they made a decision. And so far, we’re still waiting.

Schroder declined to comment today when we asked for an interview. Recently, the Lt. Governor has been investigated by the FED’s for allegedly having something to do with a state librarian being kicked out of her workplace and not being allowed to return.

“I can’t fire so that is a lie. To say I fired her is not true,” said the Lt. Governor while on the Talk Louisiana radio show Thursday morning.

“In this case, it’s a lawsuit, it’s nothing criminal so I don’t think this would influence whether or not he will run. I think what will influence him mostly is whether or not he can win,” Engster added.

While Republicans work to sort things out in their party. One Independent has already been hitting the campaign trail. Hunter Lundy, an attorney from Lake Charles spent the day campaigning in Shreveport.

“I’m running because I know what I believe and I believe the way 70% or 80% of most Louisiana people believe and that is that they have good common sense, they got a moral compass, and they’re tired of all the infighting,” said Lundy.

As for the Democrats, DOTD Secretary Sean Wilson is still the only name being tossed around. In a statement today, the secretary said, “he and his family are giving a possible campaign the prayerful and informed consideration necessary”.

Julien Burns with Red Cypress Consulting in New Orleans says Democrats have not invested enough outside of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Adding that some of their best candidates are tied down to city and parish-level positions. Burns says he would advise the Democrats to stay away from moderate candidates.

“I think it’s concerning that he is the one name that’s coming up repeatedly. No shade to Secretary Wilson, but there should be multiple qualified and well-supported candidates angling to run for this position and the fact that there are not speaks volumes. The answer is not a Katrina Jackson, conservative Democrat, who just aims for the middle of the ideological spectrum without inspiring anybody,” said Burns.

The Lt. Governor says he plans to announce whether he’s running or not by next Tuesday.

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