Who Will Be the Next Governor of Louisiana?
John Kennedy? Jeff Landry?
These are two big names that many people expect to see contend for the Louisiana governorship during the 2023 elections yet neither one of them has officially announced his candidacy for the position.
Kennedy is currently running for re-election to the U.S. Senate as he wraps up a very memorable first term in office. It's been a term during which the national media has fallen in love with his folksy analogies that make for great soundbites and Republican voters have appreciated his tough questioning of President Biden Administration officials.
Jeff Landry is currently in his second term as Attorney General and his Solicitor General Liz Murrill has already announced her intentions to run for the AG position as we are one year away from qualifying. As a matter of fact, Landry considered running for the governorship in 2019 against the incumbent John Bel Edwards but ultimately decided to run for his own re-election instead.
Edwards is term-limited and must sit out this election. But, he can run for the governorship again in 2027. Remember, the late Edwin Edwards served four terms as Louisiana governor over two decades.
Kennedy and Landry were in a similar position in 2019 when both declined to run against Edwards. This time, though, if either or both decide to run they could be facing more formidable gubernatorial candidates from their own Republican Party while the candidate(s) to represent the Louisiana Democratic Party remains a mystery.
Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, state senator Gary Smith and New Orleans city council member Helena Moreno are some of the names that have been put out there as possible Democratic candidates.
Like Landry, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser is on the back end of his second term of his current elected position. He has openly stated that he is looking at running for the governorship. On the Moon Griffon Show, Nungesser said he is waiting until after the 2022 midterms and he sees the results of polling to decide whether he will run for the governorship or for re-election.
Why is Nungesser waiting for the 2022 Congressional midterms?
Well, the 2022 midterms could determine quite a bit on who will run for the governorship. ULM political science professor Joshua Stockley points out that if Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate, then Kennedy and Bill Cassidy - another GOP candidate rumored to run for the governorship after winning re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2020 - will likely stay in Washington, D.C. That would better the odds for Landry, Nungesser, and another Republican rumored to run - State Treasurer John Schroder.
As Joe Cunningham reported, "it appears that state treasurer John Schroder is testing the waters on taking on Jeff Landry" when Schroder slammed Landry's proposal to delay project line of credit for New Orleans because of city leaders' stance in favor of abortion.
Bottom line is it's really anyone's best guess as to who will throw their hat into the ring.
“We could see nine significant candidates in August, we could see only one significant candidate in August," says Stockley. "It’s really hard to know.”