U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany made his run for U.S. Senate official Monday, announcing his bid to replace David Vitter before a crowd of supporters at the family home where he was reared on St. Patrick Street in Lafayette.

“We deserve a senator who refuses to peddle the politics of fear, obstruction, division. Instead, we deserve a senator who will lead with the politics of high aspirations and achievement. Ladies and gentlemen, I am confident I will be that senator for Louisiana,” said Boustany, a Lafayette Republican who has served in Congress since 2005.

Boustany is the third candidate to formally announce his candidacy for next year’s senate race.

U.S. Rep. John Fleming, who like Boustany is a doctor, and retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness have also announced their intentions to replace Vitter, who said he would not seek re-election following his loss in the governor’s race last month to John Bel Edwards.

State Treasurer John Kennedy also is considered a possible candidate and has said he will make a statement on the race after the Christmas holidays.

At Monday’s announcement, Boustany touted his efforts to fight “Obamacare,” protect the domestic seafood industry from cheap foreign imports, secure local clinics for veterans and protect the oil and gas industry from new taxes.

He spoke of the need to fix the nation’s health care system, reform welfare and rewrite the tax code, describing himself as “a conservative problem solver” who can help restore the nation’s “moral compass.”

“People across our state and our country feel that we have lost our way,” Boustany said. “The president’s weak and listless leadership has emboldened our enemies and shaken the confidence, the confidence of our allies who have always stood with us."