Sen. Bill Cassidy Could Announce Run for Louisiana Governor This Week
LOUISIANA (KPEL News) - John Kennedy isn't the only Senator from Louisiana eyeing a gubernatorial run in 2023.
Bill Cassidy has long been reported to be eyeing a bid for governor, and he told reporters on Tuesday that he will be announcing this week whether or not he is going to follow through with that desire.
“I made a decision. I’ll make that announcement later this week,” he told the media.
According to The Advocate, Cassidy has been meeting with supporters, advisers, and donors to come to his decision.
Cassidy has been meeting with key financial supporters and political strategists, and a couple of weeks ago said he’d announce his gubernatorial intentions sometime after the midterm elections.
Cassidy has $2.9 million in campaign funds on hand, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Kennedy has $13.6 million in his political war chest. The money raised for federal office can be used by political action committees supporting their candidacies for a state office.
Both Kennedy and Cassidy have big-money Louisiana businessmen behind them, and as sitting senators have tapped business and industry political action committees.
On Monday, Kennedy announced that he was seriously considering a run in 2023, releasing a statement and a poll that showed him well ahead of the pack of potential GOP contenders.
The two join a host of other potential candidates who are expected to announce soon, now that the 2022 election cycle is over.
The Long List Of Candidates
When it comes to the 2023 campaign for the next Governor of Louisiana, the field already looks a bit crowded - at least on the Republican side.
Three statewide elected Republicans previously led the pack in terms of all the watercooler talk: Attorney General Jeff Landry, State Treasurer John Schroder, and Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.
Landry is the only candidate to officially announce. Nungesser has repeatedly teased a future run. Schroder has been silent, though both Schroder and Nungesser blasted the Louisiana GOP's decision to endorse Landry early.
There are some rumors about which Democrats may want to run to replace John Bel Edwards in the governor's mansion in Baton Rouge.
Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge, is rumored to be looking at a run for Governor. Other possibilities could be former Rep. Cedric Richmond, who left Congress to work for the Biden administration and then the DNC; former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu; or even current (and embattled) New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
Most recently, a new Democratic name has emerged, according to LaPolitics publisher Jeremy Alford in October:
Will Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson run for governor next year? Right now the answer seems be a solid maybe.
"I’m not ready to say it’s not true," Wilson told LaPolitics in a brief interview this morning.
A registered Democrat with a Ph.D. in public policy, Wilson was born and raised in New Orleans, but calls Lafayette home these days. Should he actually enter the race for governor, he would become the first declared Black candidate.
Aside from possibly having access to the political apparatus of Gov. John Bel Edwards, Wilson currently oversees a department that works with stakeholders, like contractors and engineers, who also happen to be among the state’s top donors.
On the Republican side, there are persistent whispers among pollsters and reporters that maybe Rep. Garrett Graves.
It's also difficult to make predictions when there is so little polling available. In fact, there is only one poll publicly available, and it has Sen. John Kennedy leading all other candidates by eight points, despite the fact that Kennedy has shown no interest in running next year.
If you take Kennedy out of that poll, Jeff Landry is the leader of the pack, and it's likely that Kennedy voters are largely Landry voters if Kennedy isn't in the race.
Given the how races in 2015 and 2019 went in Louisiana, the Republicans are probably going to be looking for less friendly fire and more concentrating on the state of the state following John Bel Edwards' terms.