Report: Scott Angelle considering run for U.S. Senate _lowres

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, R-Breaux Bridge.

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle announced his candidacy for the Congress Thursday morning.

Angelle, who came in third in last fall’s governor’s race, had been widely rumored to be interested in running this fall for the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate seat.

Congressman Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, already entered the race to replace U.S. Sen. David Vitter, who is stepping down at the end of his term. Angelle is running for Boustany’s Third U.S. Congressional District seat, which covers much of Acadiana, including Lafayette and Lake Charles.

“Our families and communities in Southwest Louisiana, who help feed and fuel this nation, are struggling to survive oil prices at historic lows. Layoffs are happening every day. Our people need to know that Washington has our back. Instead, Washington’s answer is more regulations and a massive job-killing tax hike,” Angelle said in his press release.

Angelle was in charge of the state Department of Natural Resources, which oversees the oil and gas industry, under Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal. For a short time, Angelle served as interim lieutenant governor. He was one of Jindal’s closest aides and lobbied legislators on behalf of the former governor.

Angelle, who is from Breaux Bridge, started out the governor’s race polling less than 2 percent, but came within 41,000 votes, out of 1.1 million cast Oct. 24, of beating Vitter for a slot in the November runoff.

The congressional elections are Nov. 8, 2016, with a runoff, if necessary, on Dec. 3.

“As your congressman,” Angelle said in his announcement, “I will defend the Second Amendment, protect the sanctity of life and fight for religious freedom. I will stand up for our brave law enforcement officers and I will never cave to political correctness. I’ll continue to be a partner to our coastal ports, support our local farmers, and work with our economic development partners to cut the red tape and allow job creation.”