U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has seen a big rise in his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination recently, and now he has unveiled a Louisiana campaign team that includes several state legislators and other influential people in state politics.
Rubio, who was endorsed by former Gov. Bobby Jindal on Friday, held a fundraiser in New Orleans in November.
Here’s who has officially signed onto his team, as revealed exclusively to The Advocate ahead of a formal announcement this week:
State Chairman: Sen. Mack “Bodi” White, R-Central.
Co-Chair: Christel Slaughter, a well-known Baton Rouge based consultant.
Co-Chair: Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe.
Co-Chair: Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles.
Co-Chair: Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge.
Co-Chair: West Feliciana Parish President Kevin Couhig.
Co-Chair: Rob Couhig, a New Orleans-based attorney.
Co-Chair: Brian Wagner, a former New Orleans City Council member.
Co-Chair: George Fowler, a Cuban-American New Orleans-based lawyer.
Co-Chair: Rep. Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge.
State Grassroots Director Lionel Rainey.
State Grassroots Director Beverly Haydel.
“Marco Rubio has demonstrated throughout this campaign that he will implement policies that will not just save the American Dream, but expand it,” White said in a statement. “I’m supporting him because I am confident that he will use conservative principles to help improve the lives of Louisianans and Americans across the country.”
Rubio pulled off a narrow third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, and has been picking up endorsements since. Polls predict he will come in second in New Hampshire on Tuesday. Donald Trump who is predicted to win New Hampshire and came in second in Iowa, will be holding a campaign rally in Baton Rouge on Thursday.
“After looking at all the candidates in this race, it’s clear to me that Marco Rubio is far and away the best to carry our party’s flag in the general election,” Talbot said in a statement. “Marco has an optimistic vision for America that will inspire voters, and I’m supporting him because I know he can be counted on to protect and expand the American Dream for future generations.”
Campaigns have been increasingly eyeing Louisiana’s March 5 primary. The Rubio campaign, in announcing the Louisiana team, echoed comments Jindal made in his endorsement — that Rubio is a candidate who can unify the Republican base.
“Our campaign is happy to have these strong conservative leaders on board to spread Marco’s positive message of a New American Century to voters across Louisiana,” said Jeremy Adler, regional spokesman for the Rubio campaign. “Voters across the country are recognizing that Marco is the one candidate that can unite the Republican Party and win a general election which is why so many are rallying behind his candidacy.”