Governor John Bel Edwards re-election campaign announces he raised $3.6 million in campaign funds during his first year in office. According to finance reports, the governor ended 2016 with $3.2 million on hand. UL-Lafayette political science professor Pearson Cross says it’s an impressive haul for Edwards’ first year.

“It’s actually more than Bobby Jindal raised in his first year. Bobby Jindal raised about $3.5 million, so a bit less there. So he’s doing very well and he set himself up, if he keeps up this pace, for getting re-elected in 2019,” Cross said.

Despite budget problems, floods and civil unrest from a police shooting, the governor has maintained a high approval rating. Cross says being well liked helps while raising money.

“As a state legislator running for governor, Governor Edwards was challenged. It was hard for him to raise money. Now that he’s governor, everybody likes him, he’s everybody’s friend,” Cross said.

Edwards’ could face Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry in his 2019 re-election bid. Landry’s campaign finance reports show he’s raised just under $900-thousand with $544-thousand on hand. Cross says as soon as Landry officially enters the race, his fundraising will rise quickly.

“If the Republicans coalesce around Jeff Landry’s candidacy with regard to governor in 2019, he will undoubtedly raise a great deal of money, enough to be certainly competitive, even with a sitting governor,” Cross said.