Mayor-President Kip Holden said Tuesday that he’s 80 percent sure he will run for Louisiana lieutenant governor in 2015.
Holden, a Democrat, was sworn into his third term as East Baton Rouge Mayor President in January. The term ends the last day of 2016. But if he was elected lieutenant governor he would leave the mayor’s office a year early.
Holden said he has been approached by elected officials from across the state to run for the office currently held by Jay Dardenne. Dardenne has unofficially announced plans to run for governor.
The lieutenant governor’s office oversees the state department of culture, recreation and tourism. Holden said his work promoting and recruiting business and entertainment for the largest parish in the state has positioned him well for the state office.
“This will allow me not only to promote Baton Rouge, but Louisiana,” Holden said Tuesday. “My other interest is preserving the culture of Louisiana for all people, because we are a melting pot.”
Holden said he hasn’t completely made up his mind because he wants to make sure the mayor’s office is well positioned in the event he was to leave a year early for the state office.
Well, the Democrats needed a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and Caroline Fayard can’t run for anything until she raises a couple hundred grand to pay for the ethics fines arising out of that money-laundering scheme she and her dad worked out with Buddy Leach to finance her failed 2010 run. Holden’s as good as anybody.
But even though the Lt. Governor does very little and Kip’s event-specific sartorial flair could be an asset in promoting “culture” – oh, wait, you don’t know what we’re talking about?
Well, this is Hurricane Kip…
And here’s Bayou Country Superfest Kip…
And this is Lance Armstrong Kip…
And this is…hey, who knows what this is…
And then there’s this, which isn’t actually him but anything’s possible…
Holden’s appeal outside the city of Baton Rouge is going to be pretty limited, but it’s enough to get him into the runoff.
The question will be – against whom?
Billy Nungesser, who got 47 percent of the vote against Dardenne in 2011, has said he’s going to be in the race again in the next cycle. Can Nungesser mobilize enough support from the state’s conservatives to get into the mix with Holden in the runoff? If so, he’d be the favorite.
But who else will get in?
With Holden in the race as a black Democrat, dare we say that Elbert Guillory, the newest Republican in the state legislature, a strong defender of the state’s film industry which falls within the purview of the Lt. Governor and the only black Republican state senator in the country as of right now, might become an ever-more interesting candidate?
Either way, Holden’s entry into the Lieutstakes means we might actually have some participation by the Louisiana Democrat Party in the next statewide election cycle after all.