As expected, given the announcement this morning, the press conference is going on right now. State treasurer John Kennedy throwing in with Sen. David Vitter’s gubernatorial campaign might not particularly change the race – Vitter was always likely to make the runoff and get the largest share of the Republican vote, and today’s announcement doesn’t alter that.
Given Kennedy’s constant gadfly/irritant role during current Gov. Bobby Jindal’s tenure it’s interesting to see him supporting someone for that office. Of course, Kennedy and Vitter have been friendly ever since the former switched parties in advance of a run against Mary Landrieu for the Senate back in 2008; Vitter is credited with bringing Kennedy into the GOP, in fact.
Does this mean Kennedy will get the payoff of an appointment to Vitter’s Senate seat should he win the race for the governor’s mansion this fall? It’s a poorly-kept secret that Kennedy will run for that seat next year, but Vitter has denied he’ll be appointing anyone to the seat in advance of the 2016 election as part of any political deal he would make (and frankly it’s not in his interest to do so, because any appointment he might make on behalf of someone who would run for that seat as an incumbent in 2016 would alienate the others who would run).
What we do know is Kennedy could be a fairly effective attack dog for Vitter in the governor’s race should he choose to do so – he’s had dealings with both Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle resulting in some degree of friction and he can use that on behalf of Vitter if he wants.