Statewide elections next year have become more interesting in Louisiana with developments over the past ten days.
Republican former Rep. John Fleming made it official earlier this month by formally announcing a run for lieutenant governor. Although he said he would wait on a formal announcement from incumbent Republican Billy Nungesser that he wouldn’t run for reelection in pursuit of the state’s top office, Fleming committed fully less than a month after Nungesser told attendees at a function related to his job that he fully intended to shoot for the state’s top spot.
Fleming brings much to the table to make his a formidable candidacy: his most recent government work including a stint at the White House, past congressional service, having run a credible statewide campaign (for Senate, where he didn’t make the runoff), his ability to self-finance, and his desire for the job unclouded by its use as a stepping stone for something else that should appeal to voters uncomfortable with a steady stream of candidates over the years who asked to be elected to the least political/policy-oriented statewide office but who clearly wanted to use it to audition for very politicized/policy-oriented executive offices. And it made sense for him to start the fundraising and publicity now regardless of Nungesser’s intentions.