Sen. John Kennedy considering Louisiana governor bid as LAGOP issues controversial endorsement

Election 2022 Senate Louisiana
Sen. John Kennedy, joined by his wife, Becky, left, addresses supporters during his election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, at the Lod Cook Alumni Center on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge, La. (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP) Hilary Scheinuk/AP

Sen. John Kennedy considering Louisiana governor bid as LAGOP issues controversial endorsement

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Newly reelected Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) revealed Monday that he is seriously considering returning to Louisiana to run for governor in 2023.

“Over the last year, Louisianians have asked me time and time again to come home to serve as governor during these difficult times,” he explained in a statement. “We’ve always listened to them, so I am giving serious consideration to entering the governor’s race. I’ll be announcing my decision soon.”

Notably, Louisiana is home to one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in elected office. Incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) has reached his term limit as the state’s leader and cannot run in the 2023 race.

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Recent polling released by Kennedy’s campaign showed him leading the field of both Republican and Democratic candidates for governor among 800 surveyed likely voters. Asked who they would vote for if the gubernatorial election were held today, 21.7% of respondents said Kennedy, followed by 12.8% for the Louisiana GOP’s endorsee, Attorney General Jeff Landry.

The poll was conducted between Nov. 9-12, with a 3.5 percentage point margin of error at the 95% confidence level.

Landry was endorsed last week by the state’s Republican Party in what was considered a premature move. The early decision was reportedly made with the goal of avoiding infighting within the party so that voters could gather around one candidate.

Two other likely candidates, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and Treasurer John Schroder, expressed their dismay with the decision.

“There is nothing more conservative, nothing more @lagop, than competition,” Nungesser wrote on Twitter. “This endorsement process looks more like communist China than the Louisiana we know and love. Some think this is a coronation. Real republicans will make sure we have an election, not a monarchy. #lagov.”

https://twitter.com/BillyNungesser/status/1589619506866888704?s=20&t=5s_yg92IWLx7QWWBnlvkMA

“Almost a year out? This is more about money and inside party politics! There’s still a lot of water that must pass under the bridge. Ultimately, the citizens of Louisiana must have candidates who present ideas and solutions to fix the problems of this state,” Schroder said.

Others further decried the decision, slamming it as a “backroom deal.”

https://twitter.com/sharonhewitt/status/1589462070948663298?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1589462070948663298%7Ctwgr%5E9223066ddb5d2f9712f45e963b13fb0613fbe288%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthehayride.com%2F2022%2F11%2Fselfish-politicians-are-the-gops-biggest-problem%2F

Louisiana Transportation Secretary and Democrat Shawn Wilson is considered a likely pick by the Louisiana Democrats for governor. In the polling from Kennedy, Wilson received 18.2% of support from respondents.

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Given the unorthodox move by the LAGOP, an impromptu run by Kennedy is sure to throw a wrench into things further.

The election will be held on Oct. 14, 2023.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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