Well he hasn’t come out and declared for the race, but he’s reintroducing himself to Louisiana’s voters through his reelection TV ads for state treasurer. State Treasurer, like all statewide offices, are up for reelection this year.
Now let’s be real here, John Kennedy is the most popular statewide official in Louisiana. Although he may draw an opponent (more on that in second), he should be reelected easily this fall.
This is about laying the groundwork for a run for the U.S. Senate next year, possibly regardless of whether David Vitter is elected governor. He has nearly $4 million in his state campaign account, which cannot be used for a U.S. Senate run so he’s going to use that to start getting his name out statewide.
In most years, Kennedy has not drawn an opponent for reelection. There really isn’t anyone in this state that thinks Kennedy is doing a bad job as treasurer. Arguably, that’s a reason why Kennedy has been unable to defeat an opponent for a higher office.
Now there are persistent rumors that Kennedy will draw an opponent this year for this race. Some of these rumors also suggest that Kennedy’s campaign may put up this opponent themselves. The reason why is so they can justify running statewide TV ads and running an aggressive campaign without looking weird.
At the same time, there is value in building an aggressive campaign without an opponent. Qualifying is in two weeks and such an aggressive campaign posture maybe valuable in itself to scare off anyone who is thinking about running for the office.
But this is just a reminder, once the statewide elections are over this year we jump right into the U.S. Senate race next year.