After serving four years as Lieutenant Governor, Mitch Landrieu said becoming governor of Louisiana was on his bucket list — but Hurricane Katrina threw a wrench into those plans.
Now in his final year as Mayor of New Orleans, Landrieu reflected on his political history and looked forward to his future on the LaPolitics Report podcast.
"I had every intention of running for governor," said Landrieu, noting that at the time he had already failed in two bids to be mayor of New Orleans and also considered a run for Attorney General. "But, you know, Katrina happened and the rebuild of New Orleans slowed down. And New Orleans has always been truly my first love. And when that responsibility presented itself I decided … to come back to the city of New Orleans for eight years."
Once becoming mayor of New Orleans in 2010, he said, gubernatorial ambitions turned unlikely. The removal of Confederate monuments this year, he said, was an example of something no one who had ambitions to run for a state office would undertake.
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"I kind of realized the mayor of New Orleans has to take positions that are gonna be different than what the people of the state of Louisiana would take. And I think anybody whose watched me be the mayor of New Orleans and all of the hard decisions that I've made here, knows that I wasn't doing that with an eye toward being the governor of the state of Louisiana," he said. "I mean no right thinking person who wants to be governor takes down Confederate monuments in Louisiana. You just don't do that."
He wouldn't, however, rule out a run if sentiment changes.
"Now, if subsequently, history proves me right and I think that it certainly will and the people of Louisiana change and I decide to do that later, who knows," Landrieu said. "But I think anybody who's watched me govern for the last eight years knows that the first and the only thing in my mind is what I thought was best for the people of the city of New Orleans. And I really didn't give much thought to what people outside of the city of New Orleans thought about what I did."
Landrieu said he has no intentions or targets for a new political landing spot at the time being.
As his final term comes to an end this year he will be replaced by one of the runoff candidates for New Orleans Mayor: Latoya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet.
As of now, Landrieu said he's "not sure" if he would endorse either candidate, but will consider it if he believes one is in a better position to lead. He also reiterated that he is not planning a presidential campaign, despite rumors that he will be a player as a Democratic candidate in 2020.
"That's not me saying that, that's other people saying that. And of course I'm thrilled that people think somebody from the city of New Orleans could actually hold that office. It really says more about the city than it does about me," he said.
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