Representative John Stefanski of Crowley has become one of the first to officially announce a bid for statewide office in 2023, telling supporters that he is running for Attorney General next year.

“As the top law enforcement officer in Louisiana, my first priority will be defending Louisiana families against the rise in violent crime,” Stefanski said in a statement. "Violent crime in our major cities is out of control and I’m ready take a proactive stand against it. As Louisiana's next Attorney General my message will be crystal clear - the rule of law will be respected and enforced or the consequences will be severe."

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"We’ve put together one of the winningest and what I believe is the best campaign team in America,” Stefanski said. "More importantly, my entire team has Louisiana roots. They are personally invested in this race and have a genuine concern for the future of our state."

On that team is a list of Louisiana election veterans, according to Greg Hillburn with the USA Today Network.

Among them: Sally Nungesser, whose clients include most of the state's Republican congressional delegation; senior data analyst Bill Skelly; senior advisor Chris Carr, former political director for the Republican National Committee; Go Big Media's Brent Barksdale, who will lead the production team and was part of the campaign that helped defeat Republican Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney; Push Digital lead by Autin Stukins, who's leading digital efforts for Herschel Walker's Georgia Senate campaign; and general consultants Lionel Rainey and Lunden Chenevert, well-known campaign managers in Louisiana and beyond.

The announcement could put Stefanski at odds with current Attorney General Jeff Landry's deputy, Liz Murrill. Landry is expected to run for Governor in 2023, with Murrill possibly seeking to take his place.

Stefanski is currently the chairman of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversaw the redistricting process in 2022 after new census numbers came out, leading to legal battles within the court system over representation in Congress.

He won his House seat in a 2017 special election.

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Fighting Fentanyl: Huge Arrests Made Across Acadiana in 2022

The fight against fentanyl is a daunting one as the highly potent drug continues to take lives every day across the country. From Lafayette to the surrounding areas, law enforcement agencies have their hands full as they fight to get fentanly off their respective streets.

The awareness for the fatal causes of fentanyl are there as people across the Acadiana area (and the state) are not only mourning the death of loved ones lost to the substance but are holding memorials and recently worked with legislators to pass "Millie's Law," which increases criminal penalties for those who sale and distribute fentanyl.

Fentanyl has become a leading drug in an epidemic that takes over 100,000 lives each year, according to the CDC. The drug is often added to heroin without it being disclosed to the person buying the drug. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency outlines how dangerous fentanyl has become:

"Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin. Because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is also diverted for abuse. Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths. Clandestinely-produced fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico."

Let's take a look back at headline-catching cases involving fentanyl in 2022.

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