New Orleans lawyer Caroline Fayard has become the first Democrat to enter the race for Louisiana’s open U.S. Senate seat.
“This election is about the future, not the past,” Fayard said in a video formally launching her run Thursday. “I’m not a career politician, and I’m not running for Senate because I want a better parking spot on Capitol Hill or because I’m a guy who thinks it’s his turn.”
In the video, Fayard is shown walking on a farm and working in her law office while touting her background and the themes of her campaign.
“It’s time we got our eye back on the ball about the true purpose of government — namely to protect the safety and security of this country and its citizens,” she said.
A news release from her campaign touts her as a “pro-life, pro-business Democrat.”
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, a Republican, announced in the fall that he won’t seek re-election this year, prompting speculation over who would run for his spot.
Several Republicans, including state Treasurer John Kennedy and U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany and John Fleming, have entered the race, as well as retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness.
The election is scheduled for Nov. 8, with a Dec. 3 runoff, if needed.
Fayard unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor in a 2010 special election, losing to Republican Jay Dardenne. She has been frequently mentioned as a potential candidate for elected office since then.
A Livingston Parish native, Fayard is the daughter of prominent Democratic supporter Calvin Fayard. She graduated from Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School.
She runs a private law practice in New Orleans.
Democrats have said they hope to have a small slate to help secure a spot on the runoff ticket, while more Republicans enter the race and divide the GOP vote.
That strategy helped elect Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards in November. Edwards, who beat Vitter in a runoff, ran as an anti-abortion Democrat.
Other Democrats who are said to be eyeing the race include Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell and state Sen. Eric LaFleur.