Gov. Bobby Jindal has seen a slight uptick in Louisianans who view him favorably, according to a new poll of likely Louisiana voters.

The poll, conducted by Jindal’s campaign pollster Wes Anderson of OnMessage Inc., found 46 percent approve of Jindal’s job performance heading into the final year of his final term, while 45 percent view him unfavorably.

Among respondents 45 and younger, Jindal’s numbers were 55 percent favorable to 41 percent unfavorable.

The OnMessage poll was conducted Jan. 12-14. The survey included telephone interviews with 600 likely voters, stratified by county to reflect historic voter trends. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentange points.

Poll results favor Vitter, Landrieu for governor

The OnMessage poll also looked at this year’s race for Louisiana governor.

Among those surveyed, Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter, who already has thrown his hat into the race, and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a Democrat who hasn’t, took the lead, with 28 percent favoring Landrieu to 27 percent for Vitter.

Tied at 11 percent were Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, a Republican who has announced he’s running for governor, and state Treasurer John Kennedy, a Republican who hasn’t.

Fourteen percent of respondents were not sure who they would vote for, while Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle took 6 percent and Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards got 4 percent. Both have announced they are running for governor.

Education summit causes traffic jams

State Superintendent of Education John White said he was pleasantly surprised to encounter traffic tieups when he was headed to a day long summit sponsored by his agency on Louisiana’s career education overhaul.

“We’ve got a traffic jam for one of our events,” White told the crowd, which state officials estimated at about 700 people.

Firm tests Kennedy’s strength in races

Four-term state Treasurer John Kennedy’s been testing his strength in races for governor, attorney general and U.S. Senate.

Kennedy hired Virginia-based North Star Opinion Research to do some surveying. The results showed Republican Kennedy leading in a potential attorney general’s race; topping GOP candidates in a 2016 race for U.S. Senate should incumbent Republican David Vitter become governor; and coming in third in a governor’s contest behind Vitter and Democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards.

Kennedy has raised the prospect of a run for attorney general. He’s filed a campaign finance report for a fall treasurer’s race showing he has $3.45 million in cash on hand — money that can be transferred to another statewide race.

The North Star poll put Kennedy in the lead in a potential four-candidate attorney general field that included incumbent Republican Buddy Caldwell. Kennedy polled 23 percent; Democratic Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy, 18 percent; Caldwell, 17 percent; and former Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, 10 percent.

In the governor’s questioning, Vitter had 24 percent; Edwards, 20 percent; Kennedy, 13 percent; Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, 10 percent; Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, 2 percent; and 32 percent undecided.

The statewide survey was conducted Jan. 10-13 among 600 registered voters. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Nungesser hires campaign manager

Lieutenant governor candidate Billy Nungesser has hired a campaign manager.

Ryan Lambert is fresh off the successful election campaign of Republican U.S. Rep. Garret Graves. Lambert served as political director in Graves’ bid to win the Baton Rouge-based 6th Congressional District seat.

Lambert is a 2011 graduate of the University of South Carolina-Columbia with a degree in political science.

Nungesser, a Republican, just finished two terms as Plaquemines Parish president.

State Senate president starts new Alario PAC

Senate President John Alario has launched a new political action committee separate from his election campaign fund.

Alario, R-Westwego, filed papers with ethics officials creating Alario PAC as part of efforts to keep the Senate presidency in a new term.

He has used similar PACs in the past to make contributions to other legislators’ campaigns.

Alario has served as both speaker of the Louisiana House and president of the state Senate.

State senator ordained a Baptist minister

State Sen. Elbert Guillory has a new title on his business card.

Guillory, a Republican lawyer from Opelousas, is now the Rev. Elbert Guillory.

Guillory said he became an ordained Baptist minister in November.

“I’ve been on this road since I was 4 years old,” said Guillory, who has said he will run for lieutenant governor this fall.

Guillory went to New York Theological Seminary in 1972. He said his mother, who died in November 2003, had always wanted him to be a minister.

“When she got to heaven, she started pestering the Lord on a daily basis,” Guillory said. “On the anniversary of her death, I was ordained. It was very important to her.”

The last two Sundays, he said, he’s preached at churches in Lafayette and Lake Charles. On Friday, he was on his way to Hammond to preach a sermon.

DHH, DOA make La. marathon interesting

The state Department of Health and Hospitals and the Division of Administration had a little side thing going on in last week’s Louisiana Marathon.

Hard to say who won.

DHH scored more miles in the marathon and DOA had more people. Both DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert and Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols had to wear each other’s team shirts because both lost part of the challenge.

Nichols finished in 4 hours 27 minutes. Kliebert finished the race in 4 hours 53 minutes.

Southern alumni president talks race

Preston J. Castille Jr., Southern University Alumni Federation national president, appeared on the television show “In Black & White.” Dianne Andrews discussed Martin Luther King Day, the new movie “Selma” and current unrest in America.

New leader of coastal restoration announced

Louisiana’s coastal restoration agency has a new leader.

Gov. Bobby Jindal on Friday announced the appointment of Chip Kline as chairman of the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, known as CPRA. The job involves overseeing state work on a massive, multibillion-dollar coastal restoration plan.

The Governor’s Office said Jerome “Zee” Zeringue — who had been in the position for less than a year — has left the job “to pursue other opportunities.” Kline had worked as deputy director for coastal activities in Jindal’s office before being named CPRA chairman.

Zeringue was paid $160,000 annually for the job. The Governor’s Office said Kline would be paid $135,000 a year.

State retirement board gets new chairman

Thomas Bickham, undersecretary of the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections, is the new chairman of the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System’s board of trustees. LASERS has fiduciary oversight on the state employee pension system.

Bickham has been on the board since 2012 and most recently chaired the 13-member panel’s management committee.

Janice Lansing, chief financial officer of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, is the board’s new vice chairwoman. She has been on the board since 2010 and most recently chaired its investment committee.

New chairman pledges economic growth in La.

Clyde Holloway, of Forest Hill, was elected chairman of the Louisiana Public Service Commission in 2015.

“I will work to set an agenda that will promote economic growth in this state as well as stabilize utility costs for consumers,” Holloway said. “Louisiana is on the threshold of incredible growth economically, especially in the Lake Charles region. I will work to continue that growth by making certain that infrastructure needed for industry growth is in place without an adverse effect on ratepayers.”

PSC Commissioner Scott Angelle, of Breaux Bridge, was elected vice chairman.

Kennedy, Duke to appear on radio show

Guests on Jim Engster’s radio show this week include Treasurer John Kennedy and former lawmaker and Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Kennedy will appear Tuesday and discuss the state budget crisis and speculation about his political intentions.

Duke will be interviewed on Wednesday to discuss the controversy about U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise related to his address in 2002 to a group affiliated with Duke.

“The Jim Engster Show” airs on stations statewide 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, including WBRP, 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge, KROF, 960 AM in Lafayette, and WSLA, 1560 AM in New Orleans.

Water Institute CEO to speak to Press Club

Charles “Chip” Groat, president and CEO of the Water Institute of the Gulf, will be the guest speaker for Monday’s noon meeting of the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

Groat will unveil “Into the Blue 2050,” a report setting a vision for how Baton Rouge and the Capital Region can embrace freshwater resources. The report summarizes the results of a focus group, which included representatives of the private sector, industry, local and state governments, academia, nonprofits and advocacy groups.

Groat will outline a collaborative effort to increase the value of water resource assets and realize their full potential for contributing to the region’s quality of life, economic well-being and overall prosperity.

The Press Club meets in the Iberville Room at the Belle of Baton Rouge Hotel, 102 France St. Parking is free in the garage off Mayflower Street. Lunch, which is served at 11:30 a.m., is $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers. The public is invited, but only members of the news media and Press Club are allowed to ask questions.

Central mayor to present State of City

Central Mayor Junior Shelton will present the State of the City of Central this Tuesday at a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of East Baton Rouge.

Shelton, who just completed his first six months as mayor, will discuss the growth and economic boom going on in Central, which has a population of 28,000, as well as his plans for improvements to roads, drainage and sewer.

The meeting is at Cafe Americain, 7521 Jefferson Highway, in Baton Rouge.

The event will begin with a reception at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon will begin at noon.

It is open to business owners, guests and members of the media. Reservations are not necessary.

For information, go to or contact Chamber President Woody Jenkins at woody

Media veteran to speak at Pachyderms meeting

Scott McKay, publisher of the Internet political newspaper The Hayride will be the featured speaker at Thursday’s meeting of the Pachyderms of Greater Baton Rouge.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Asian Buffet, 3132 College Drive, in Baton Rouge.

McKay, who posts under the handle “MacAoidh,” is a veteran of the media business, having published Purple & Gold Magazine, an LSU sports publication, from 1997-2004. Scott’s writings have appeared in a number of national online publications in recent years, among them and McKay is a contributor to The American Spectator.

Pachyderm meetings are open to the public and guests are welcome. Attendees will pay the restaurant individually for the buffet. Reservations are requested. RSVP at 225-644-5728 or email

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