John Bel Edwards – Why This Democrat Thinks He Has A Shot At Being Elected La. Governor In 2015
46-year-old John Bel Edwards, the chairman of the La. House democratic caucus, has announced his intentions to run for governor in 2015.
Louisiana has been a state where democrats have had trouble winning or sometimes finding candidates to run for a statewide elected office. But Edwards, who's serving his second term in the state legislature, is not concerned about the recent struggles of the Louisiana Democratic Party. He believes voters will be looking for a change in 2015:
Many of them are very disallusioned by the extreme nature of the governor's proposals and just how he has governed the state over the last several years. I don't expect that that's going to improve at all for them. So I believe that many of these people are going to be willing to giving me consideration.
Edwards, who's been an outspoken critic of Republican Governor Bobby Jindal and his policies, points to cuts made by the Jindal administration to critical services such as education and health care. But he also points to another area, mental health, that he believes is "a tremendous problem in the state of Louisiana by underserving the people who need it." Edwards says he would like those dollars restored to these areas.
Qualifying for the race is still more than two years away, but his plan right now is to run:
I'm just so disappointed in what we're doing in the state of Louisiana and the direction we're traveling and how fast we're traveling in that direction. And I want to offer a clear alternative, a clear contrast.