The most recent issue of LaPolitics Weekly has a tidbit in there about U.S. Congressman Ralph Abraham, who may or may not be harboring some hopes at a gubernatorial run come 2019.
So, I guess it’s as good a time as any to have “The Talk.”
2019: It’s Happening
If there is one thing we know in politics, it’s that election cycles never truly end, they just change the number and keep going.
Abraham is one of several Republicans said to be eyeing the job. The biggest names in the potential field are U.S. Senator John Kennedy and Attorney General Jeff Landry, though I get the feeling Landry is sitting this one out.
Along with that, if you’re going to have a split field between Kennedy and Abraham, then people like Rob Maness and Brett Geymann also end up running. And, when you have a big, split field, then what you ultimately get is two-term Governor John Bel Edwards.
There are also whispers that Steve Scalise could make an appearance in the race, but Scalise just returned to Congress after a horrific shooting that left him critically injured and hospital-ridden for months. Now is, frankly, not the time to ask if he’s running or call for him to run.
However, the rest of the field kind of lacks inspiration, if I’m being honest with myself and you. Kennedy just won a U.S. Senate seat. There is no reason for him to run in this cycle because he hasn’t really done anything to write home about in that job, except writing a high-profile letter or two to Edwards.
Abraham has no name recognition and, despite those close to him saying he’s “not afraid of the geography,” the fact is that North Louisiana doesn’t produce many winning gubernatorial candidates.
Geymann and Maness will probably just end up being also-rans again, but at least they can fundraise and build email lists off of their campaigns again.
That’s a problem, folks, and Louisiana’s Republican Party seems to want to do nothing about this. Not learning enough from the last election, they seem content with letting 4-6 Republicans split the field in 2019 for the primary and force a runoff with a Democrat who has no business making it to the runoff at all.
Let’s be real here: A Republican should pretty much always win a statewide race if the state’s Republican Party had the good sense to run ONE, GOOD candidate. We have yet to put that forward, and we suffer for it.
It is far too early to endorse a candidate in the 2019 race, and I’m not going to try to play kingmaker here. What I will say is that the folks mentioned above need to think very, very carefully about their ambitions, and figure out when the most opportune time for them to get in or out of the race will be.