The Senate Field Increases, As Eric Skrmetta Now Dips A Toe Into The Water…

This went up on Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta’s Facebook yesterday…

My dear friends and colleagues,

Debbie and I want you to know that I have decided to form an exploratory committee investigating my possible candidacy for the United States Senate.

For seven years as your Commissioner I have fought for our citizens to ensure we are treated fairly and that we prepare for the future of our state’s economy – and I did it all as an unapologetic conservative.

Like you, I spend a lot of time observing, with much concern, the state of our nation. Issues such as the poor performance of our government, national security failures, massive overreach and overbearing rules by the EPA, immigration errors, unemployment, healthcare mistakes, budget mismanagement and a weak attitude toward respecting the Constitution are just a few of the problems we all see on a daily basis.

I want to take on these issues and work with the other 99 senators to not merely engage in conflict, but to find ways to work together to solve our nation’s problems without sacrificing our conservative principles.

Some of my goals are:
– to preserve our constitutionally protected freedoms
– to ensure that Louisiana is treated fairly and to bring as many of our tax dollars back home as possible and put them to work here for our citizens
– to build better job opportunities
– to hold government agencies, such as the EPA, in check
– to improve mechanisms for quality education opportunities
– to make sure our government is both honest and responsive to our citizens

Louisiana deserves conservative representation and leadership and I look forward to working with you on that path as we enter the next 408 days.

I ask that you keep my family in your thoughts and prayers as we work towards a decision.

Thank you again for all of your daily support!

Best wishes

Eric

Skrmetta getting in would mean there would now be three unapologetic conservatives in the Senate race, with John Fleming and Rob Maness having already announced. Charles Boustany, who they’ll probably castigate as the RINO in the race, has already filed an FEC statement of candidacy and has publicly said he’ll make an announcement next month. John Kennedy put out the results of a poll his PAC commissioned SurveyUSA to conduct on the race which has him as the top GOP contender yesterday. And Scott Angelle’s people are still talking about getting him into the race.

So that’s six Republicans. There will be one Democrat, and very likely only one, because the new Democrat governor is going to insist on only one and his stroke in getting that will be absolute.

The poll Kennedy’s PAC ran had Foster Campbell as the Democrat placeholder, and Campbell led the field with 23 percent. There was 58 percent going to one of the five Republicans included in the poll – Skrmetta wasn’t included in it – and 19 percent undecided.

The guess is Campbell wouldn’t be the Democrat. It’s more likely somebody like Walt Leger, Eric Lafleur or Neil Abramson, who could try to put on the same sort of airs John Bel Edwards did about being a conservative, would go for the job rather than an unreconstructed Longite socialist with a spotty personal history like Campbell.

But if he did, Skrmetta could build a niche for himself out of no other purpose than to be the guy who takes Campbell out. Skrmetta knows where all of Campbell’s bodies are buried from having served with him on the PSC and there is no shortage of animus between the two.

Moreover, Campbell played a huge role in the Democrat attempt to take Skrmetta out in his 2014 re-election run, raising a lot of money for “Republican” challenger Forest Wright using tactics that looked an awful lot like extortion of companies being regulated by the PSC. Skrmetta getting into the race with the sole intention of driving Foster bananas out of revenge would make for great fun in itself.

The problem, though, is that the field on the GOP side is going to get very crowded if all these people actually do get in. Six Republicans beating each other to a pulp and a Democrat who rides into the runoff untouched the way Edwards did is a recipe for disaster just like this year’s governor’s race was.

If it comes down that way, hopefully someone like the National Republican Senatorial Committee would enter the race with the intention to insure the Democrat is bloodied and made unacceptable to the voters. It could well be that the Republican candidates, outside of a prospective Skrmetta beatdown of Campbell, will be too preoccupied with attacking each other to do it.

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