Jeff Landry stock

Advocate file photo of La. Attorney General Jeff Landry

Attorney General Jeff Landry couldn't be clearer: He's running for re-election to head the state Department of Justice and won't be jumping into the race for Louisiana governor, he confirmed during a radio appearance Thursday

“I like the job I’m doing," Landry, a Republican, said during an interview on Acadiana-based KPEL talk radio. "We have a great staff."

Republicans see the race against incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards, the lone Democratic governor in the Deep South, as a priority heading into the 2019 cycle. While the ballot lineup may still see some shifting, but Landry stressed he is not in the mix -- confirming yet again that he's not interested in leaving the AG's office after his first term after first announcing his re-election campaign in November.

Two Republicans, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham of Alto and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone, have already announced their plans to run against Edwards. 

Landry in recent weeks has spent most of his time touting his priorities as attorney general and had made his decision to seek re-election before U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, a Republican who Landry had leaned on to make a decision, announced he wouldn't run.

But that hadn't stopped some from continuing to float his name as a potential challenger to Edwards in the governor's race.

Just this week a Washington-based U.S. political website, without identifying sources, reported that "some speculate that (Landry) may reconsider, especially with Kennedy out." The Hill included the race for Louisiana governor among its top 5 elections to watch in 2019.

Landry had spent weeks rallying for a big-name GOP contender that the party could unite behind to defeat Edwards, often noting that supporters had encouraged him to get into the race. He repeatedly called on Kennedy to make an announcement so that the field could begin forming, but ultimately announced his own decision not to enter the race before Kennedy made his final call known. In an interview with The Advocate at the time, Landry said he was "comfortable" with his decision and was confident that good GOP candidates would enter the race.

Landry, in his Thursday radio appearance, described more deeply his thoughts behind running for attorney general, instead of mounting a challenge to incumbent Edwards. Landry, who has been a vocal critic of the Edwards' administration and frequent challenger to the governor's policies, said he thinks of things from a "worst-case scenario" view.

"There has to be a check on the governor, and we believe right now that’s the best (role)," he said.

Landry, who took office in January 2016, is the president of the National Association of Attorneys General and on the executive committee of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.