Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has ended speculation that he might mount a run for governor next year by announcing Wednesday that he will seek a second term as attorney general.
In a Facebook post, Landry detailed efforts put forth at the Department of Justice since taking office in 2016.
"I believe we are getting the job done!" he wrote. "Thank you for your prayers, your confidence, and your support."
The announcement puts an end to months of speculation that Landry, a Republican, was gearing up to challenge Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards' re-election bid. Landry and Edwards have been frequent foes on a host of issues over the past three years.
Landry's decision to seek re-election was subtly made public earlier in the week when the Republican Attorney General Association, of which he serves on the executive board, released as statement identifying Landry's re-election among its top priorities in the coming election cycle.
"(W)e’re going on offense in 2019 to elect rule of law champions in Kentucky and Mississippi, as well as re-elect Attorney General Jeff Landry in Louisiana," RAGA Chair Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, said in the news release distributed by the organization on Monday.
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy is waiting at least a couple more weeks to say whether he will run for governor next year. But on a recent day in Denha…
A year out from election day, Gov. John Bel Edwards has drawn his first official Republican opponent in the 2019 governor's race, but other po…
No Democrat has publicly announced plans to run for attorney general in Louisiana in 2019.
Landry, who previously served one term in Congress, had openly flirted with a run for governor for months, but he also often said that he enjoys his role as attorney general.
Landry sent waves through the GOP in August when he publicly ramped up the pressure on potential candidates, referring to a "critical decision-making time."
"If we're going to have a candidate we need to find one and soon," Landry said in an interview at the time with USA Today Network.
Edwards, who was seen as a long-shot candidate for governor before defeating Republican David Vitter in 2015, quickly announced his re-election bid after taking office.
Landry had said multiple times that he would not run for governor if U.S. Sen. John Kennedy decided to challenge Edwards. Kennedy, who has admitted he's interested in the race, has said he will make an announcement by Dec. 1.
"I'll make a decision here in the next couple of weeks," Kennedy said last week at an event honoring a family affected by the catastrophic floods of 2016. "I've got a lot going on (in the Senate), but at the same time, my state's in trouble."
U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, an Alto Republican who earlier this month won re-election to his third term representing the state's 5th Congressional District, also has expressed interest in running for governor. A spokesman on Wednesday said Abraham "will make a decision soon" but hasn't set a firm deadline.
Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone is the only Republican to have officially entered the governor's race.
But Kennedy and his supporters have repeatedly pointed to polling that the Kennedy campaign paid for that suggests he and U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise are the only Republicans currently positioned to successfully defeat incumbent Edwards.
Scalise, who has served as the House Republican majority whip since 2014, has said he's not interested in running for governor. On Wednesday, he was unanimously elected to become the House minority whip when Democrats take control of the chamber in January.
The governor's race already is shaping up to be one of Louisiana's most highly anticipated fights for the coveted state chief executive post, with both national Republicans and Democrats identifying it as a priority election next year, when just three states have gubernatorial races on the ballot.
Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South.
If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote on Oct. 12 when all gubernatorial candidates, regardless of party, appear on the same ballot, then the top two vote-getters would face off in a Nov. 16 runoff under Louisiana's "jungle" primary system.