Six of Louisiana’s statewide office-holders signed up to run for re-election Tuesday morning.
Gov. Bobby Jindal, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Secretary of State Tom Schedler, state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, state Treasurer John Kennedy and Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain paid the necessary fees to add their names to the Oct. 22 ballot. All are Republicans. A runoff, if needed, will be Nov. 19.
Qualifying runs from Tuesday to Thursday for offices ranging from governor to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
So far, there are no stated challengers to Caldwell, Kennedy or Strain.
Schedler was the first person to qualify Tuesday followed by state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, who switched from Democrat to Republican in February.
Jindal picked up two opponents to his re-election bid before 9 a.m.
Bob Lang of Natchitoches and Ron Ceasar of Opelousas both are running without a party affiliation.
Lang, who unsuccessfully ran against U.S. Sen. David Vitter two years ago, said he voted for Jindal in 2007.
“I just consider him a false alarm,” he said.
Ceasar, who led a failed effort to recall Jindal, said he wants to create more jobs, reform education and make health care a greater priority.
Jindal said he plans to serve the entire four years if re-elected despites speculation that he wants to run for Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s seat in 2014.
The only potential well-financed opponent in the governor’s race - Democratic state Sen. Rob Marionneaux of Grosse Tete - announced last week that he would not run against Jindal.
“We’ll run against anyone who decides to run,” Jindal said after paying $1,125 to seek a second term. “I can’t control who qualifies between now and Thursday.”
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser signed up to run against fellow Republican Dardenne for lieutenant governor just months after endorsing Dardenne for the then-unexpired term of the office.
Nungesser said he endorsed Dardenne last year because the race pitted a Republican against a Democrat to fill the vacancy created when Mitch Landrieu became mayor of New Orleans.
He said it was a clear choice back then.
“I’m the better person in this race for the Republican Party,” Nungesser said Tuesday. “You won’t outwork me.”
Dardenne said he wants to hold onto the job he has held for nine months.
He said multiple Republicans in the race reflects the party’s growth. Republicans now hold the majorities in the Louisiana House and the state Senate.
House Speaker Jim Tucker, R-Terrytown, added his name to the ballot to run against Schedler for secretary of state.
Tucker said he is excited about running what he characterized as a daunting race.
“Running statewide is somewhat like drinking from a fire hose,” he said.
Also signing up Tuesday were Republican Walter Lee and Democrat Keith Guice, who are seeking re-election to their BESE seats. Republican Elizabeth Meyers of Denham Springs and Democrat Donald Songy of Prairieville signed up to run against Chas Roemer. Jim Guillory of Plaucheville, who has no party affiliation, is seeking to succeed Linda Johnson.
Roemer, a Republican, could offer no explanation for his crowded race.
“I have no idea why I have two opponents,” he said. “I like debate. I’m not scared of it.”