With Bobby Jindal’s term as governor nearing an end, 2015 will be a gubernatorial year for Louisiana. So far, five candidates have declared their intentions to run – three Republicans and two Democrats. Here’s a little breakdown of the candidates in so far.
- David Vitter
U.S. [mc_name name=’Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’V000127′ ] announced early, though unsurprisingly, that he was going to be seeking the chief executive spot in his home state. Vitter has some baggage, however. Remember that whole D.C. Madam thing? However, just because he has some baggage doesn’t mean he isn’t serious in his run for the seat. He’s raking in some solid cash for a gubernatorial race, according to LaPolitics, having pulled in nearly $4 million in 2014. Along with the scandal, Vitter was also on the less popular side of the Common Core debate in Louisiana, until he realized he should be against it.
- Scott Angelle
A former lieutenant governor in Louisiana and current member of the Public Service Commission, Angelle is claiming he raised about $1.4 million in the final quarter of 2014. That would make him, currently, the most serious contender (cash-wise) to Vitter. Angelle is a “reformed” Democrat (as in, he made the switch to Republican around the same time as several politicians in the state), but has some popularity throughout the state. Vitter has for a while been considered the favorite going into the race, but Angelle might end up being a viable political force, despite a recent poll showing him at just three percent among candidates.
- Jay Dardenne
Dardenne is currently the Lt. Gov of Louisiana. His primary job has been to lobby the legislature for money related to tourism promotion and lobbying people in other states to come visit and spend their money here. During his time, Dardenne has done a lot in pushing museums and the historical side of Louisiana. While serving in the state legislature, he received a lot of criticism from state conservative pundits for being too liberal on fiscal issues.
- John Bel Edwards
Unfortunately named, Edwards is a Democrat who serves as the Minority Leader in the state House of Representatives, and has done… almost nothing. Well, except criticize Jindal for all his trips out of the state. Of major Democrats in the state, Edwards one of, like, five most people can name, and he’s that name you stop at number five and think about for a bit. There isn’t a whole lot of easily searchable policy to his name, so he can start from scratch, essentially. The state Democratic Party has almost no pulse, so it’s hard to imagine any headway coming from this, despite coming in second place in a recent poll.
- Jeremy Odom
I admit I am a bit perplexed on this one. A black minister from my hometown of Natchitoches, Louisiana, Odom is running on a platform to raise the lower class up.
Other Possible Contenders
On the Republican side, you have State Treasurer John Kennedy, known for proposing major budget cuts that seem unworkable at times (but don’t cut from higher education and healthcare in the state, which is a plus); [mc_name name=’Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’A000361′ ], who his Congressional seat to head up Veteran’s Affairs (his seat was taken over by the Kissing Congressman); Gerald Long, who is also a legislator from the Natchitoches area and has hinted he wants to run; and Buddy Roemer, former governor, U.S. Representative, and failed contender for President in 2012.
On the Democratic side, you have New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu ([mc_name name=’Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’L000550′ ]’s brother, who I expect will stay out of it until the fallout from his sister’s loss blows over) and Foster Campbell, Public Service Commissioner and former gubernatorial candidate.
Southern Media Opinion Research released a poll that shows, as expected, Vitter at the top of the mountain with 36%. Edwards comes in second with 26%. Dardenne picked up 13% and Angelle had only 3%. Odom wasn’t even polled, and very likely wouldn’t register in any poll.
The top issue in the state for voters, according to the poll, is education (35%). After that is the economy (25%). Qualifying for governor is in September, the election is in October, and a run-off (if needed) will come in November.