With fewer than three weeks remaining until qualifying and without a well-financed opponent, Gov. Bobby Jindal is raising campaign cash and launching an advertising blitz.
Republican Jindal headed to Minneapolis on Wednesday to raise money for his re-election campaign a day after unveiling a new television ad that will air statewide.
The ad unfurls sound bites from news stations about Jindal administration economic development announcements. It touts job creation across the state.
Timmy Teepell, the governor’s campaign adviser, said the campaign spent about $400,000 to buy air time for the ad. He said the campaign plans to stay on the air until the Oct. 22 primary.
“It will stay up until the next ad goes up,” he said.
State Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Grosse Tete, said he still is undecided on whether he will run.
Marionneaux said he wants to ensure that he continues to have plenty of time to spend with his 13-year-old son.
“I want to play heavily in his life. This state needs a full-time governor,” he said.
Marionneaux said he also has a thriving law practice. Becoming governor, a job that pays $130,000 a year, would be a financial strain, he said.
Through a heavy focus on fundraising, Jindal has amassed nearly $14 million. He traveled to Atlanta and to New York earlier this month to raise money.
In addition to his Baton Rouge headquarters, he has campaign offices across the state. Volunteers are making calls to ask for votes.
Teepell is on leave from his regular job of the governor’s chief of staff to advise the campaign.
Political commentator and former state Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown said Jindal is devoting energy to what seems to be shaping up to be a one-man race because he is building a brand for future offices. By spelling out economic development wins, Jindal conveys that he was an effective governor, Brown said.
“I really think this is laying for his future, probably a U.S. Senate run in 2014,” he said.
That seat currently is held by U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., the state’s only Democratic statewide elected official. Assuming he wins re-election, Jindal cannot seek a consecutive third term.
Teepell said Jindal is running a competitive race simply because he does not want to take anything for granted.