Is One of Louisiana’s U.S. Senators Looking at Running for Governor in 2023?
There has previously been speculation that Senator Bill Cassidy was looking at a run for Governor in 2023.
However, that speculation has shot up in recent days with political observers noting that the Senator has a fundraiser coming up in the state this week. Conservative pundit Scott McKay at The Hayride made note of it late last week.
Back in the spring Cassidy had a little media blitz, mostly driven by a couple of stories in the Advocate postulating him as a middle-of-the-road option voters might like. Then a couple of polls were done on the race showing minimal support for a Cassidy candidacy and that talk seemed to fall away.
But now it’s back and apparently it’s real.
If Cassidy gets in, he’ll have the ability to raise a good amount of money outside of Louisiana. That might make Nungesser unviable and send him back to running for re-election as Lt. Governor. Cassidy might have less of an effect on Schroder, who’s positioned to his right.
Jeremy Alford at LaPolitics Weekly in the past has pointed out that Cassidy's immediate political future in Washington might have too much allure for the Senator to ponder leaving the nation's capitol.
With so much speculation surrounding the possibility of U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy running for governor, politicos may have missed the fact that the Republican has managed to carve out some interesting possibilities in Washington as well. Given a few twists and turns, the next Congress may find Cassidy as the top Republican on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. There will soon be only two Republicans ahead of Cassidy in terms of seniority on the health committee — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Maine Sen. Susan Collins. However, Rand may choose to use his seniority on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Collins is poised to advance on the Appropriations Committee. If everything happens that way, Cassidy could be in the position to lead the health committee as ranking member or chair.
In the only publicly available poll on the 2023 governor's race, released back in March, Cassidy's name did appear, but it was U.S. Senator John Kennedy who led the way. But Kennedy has not made any moves to run for the job, nor do most observers expect him to.
The Long List Of Candidates
When it comes to the 2023 campaign for the next Governor of Louisiana, the field already looks a bit crowded - at least on the Republican side.
Three statewide elected Republicans lead the pack in terms of all the watercooler talk: Attorney General Jeff Landry, State Treasurer John Schroder, and Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.
Landry is the only candidate to officially announce. Nungesser has repeatedly teased a future run. Schroder has been silent.
There are some rumors about which Democrats may want to run to replace John Bel Edwards in the governor's mansion in Baton Rouge.
Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge, is rumored to be looking at a run for Governor. Other possibilities could be former Rep. Cedric Richmond, who left Congress to work for the Biden administration and then the DNC; former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu; or even current (and embattled) New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
Most recently, a new Democratic name has emerged:
On the Republican side, there are persistent whispers among pollsters and reporters that maybe Rep. Garrett Graves.
It's also difficult to make predictions when there is so little polling available. In fact, there is only one poll publicly available, and it has Sen. John Kennedy leading all other candidates by eight points, despite the fact that Kennedy has shown no interest in running next year.
If you take Kennedy out of that poll, Jeff Landry is the leader of the pack, and it's likely that Kennedy voters are largely Landry voters if Kennedy isn't in the race.
Given the how races in 2015 and 2019 went in Louisiana, the Republicans are probably going to be looking for less friendly fire and more concentrating on the state of the state following John Bel Edwards' terms.