With John Kennedy’s election for the Senate, Louisiana is about to have something it hasn’t had in almost two decades, a truly contested race for state Treasurer. Like fleas attaching themselves to a dog, ambitious legislators and other politicians are looking for a chance to win statewide office.
Here’s who we think will run for and may even be on the ballot next October for Treasurer:
State Rep. Julie Stokes: The Jefferson Parish Republican has to be considered the potential front-runner because she will have a stronghold in the state’s most populous parish. Stokes will also likely have the fundraising advantage in the race as well. Stokes has reportedly retained Brent Barksdale’s Go Big Media for the race. Go Big Media worked for John Young in the Lt. Governor’s race and worked on behalf of the Louisiana Federation for Children in 2015.
State Rep. John Schroeder: The Covington Republican is one of the leading “fiscal hawks” in the Legislature and he is expected to run on a Kennedy-esque platform of fiscal conservatism and government reform. He will have a solid base on the Northshore and the I-12 corridor. Schroeder has reportedly retained Lionel Rainey, who did the consulting for Kennedy’s successful U.S. Senate race.
Former House Speaker Chuck Kleckley: The Lake Charles Republican is expected to be the Acadiana candidate in the race. He will be running on his extensive legislative and business experience. Kleckley will be the candidate of what’s left of the Jindal machine.
State Sen. Neil Riser: The Northeast Louisiana Republican is expected to be a favorite of the business community. Last time when he sought higher office, he was backed by the Jindal machine.
Former U.S. Senate candidate Col. Rob Maness: Rob Maness’s supporters are pushing him to jump into the race and he is expected to do so. Maness will run a campaign largely in line with his two bids for U.S. Senate and promote himself as an outsider. If Maness runs, his team is expected another out of state one.
The Times-Picayune had some speculation about some other candidates entering the race.
We’re expecting a Democrat to enter the race, but we doubt it will be State Senator Eric LaFleur. We don’t think Walt Leger runs either because he’s expected to run for Mayor of New Orleans in 2018.
We don’t expect State Rep. Paul Hollis to run. He throws his name in the hat for every statewide race, but he never pulls the trigger. This race will be no different.
State Sen. Norby Chabert also probably isn’t running. He too likes putting his name in the hat in every statewide special election, but he doesn’t pull the trigger.
Finally, the only way we see Bobby Jindal’s former Commissioner of Administration Angela Davis running is if Kleckley passes on the race. She would inherit Jindal’s machine.