Well, So Much For Katie Bernhardt’s Fleeting Gubernatorial Campaign

We thought that corny video she put out with her shooting off guns and the bad green-screen “man on the street” interviews was a little off, and it turns out we were right – Louisiana Democrat Party chair Katie Bernhardt has put the ixnay on running for governor.

Which is probably best for everyone involved, or at least everyone who’d care.

Louisiana Democratic Party Chairman Katie Bernhardt is out of the 2023 governor’s campaign, leaving State Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson as the only Democrat actively considering the race.

Bernhardt, of Lafayette, declined an interview but said in a statement to USA Today Network that she is focusing on elevating the Democratic Party in a deep red Republican state.

“I’m not running for governor or anything else right now,” Bernhardt said in the statement. “We’re working to rebuild the Louisiana Democratic Party, which starts with fielding strong, capable candidates for statewide office.

“We know how important this fall’s election is, and we will stop at nothing to keep the governor’s office and win down-ballot races.”

Bernhardt blasted her way into the conversation in January with a campaign video featuring her firing a shotgun to illustrate her firepower that generated a viral social media buzz as well as a backlash from many within her own party who believe as chair she should be promoting candidates other than herself.

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is term-limited and can’t run for reelection. He is the only statewide elected Democrat in Louisiana.

Wilson, who has served as Edwards’ transportation secretary during both terms, is expected to officially join the race soon.

“I’ve made a decision and I’m enthusiastic about the future, but I’m not ready to officially announce that decision today,” Wilson said in an interview with USA Today Network.

What it’s going to take for Shawn Wilson to make an announcement and get in is a mystery. Pretty much everybody knows he’s running, so why all the suspense?

At DC Mardi Gras, after the far left wing of the party and Gary Chambers in particular had pooped all over the idea of her running for governor, Bernhardt apparently told a couple of people that she was just a placeholder for Wilson. Obviously that didn’t go over too well.

So it’s Wilson, whenever he gets around to it. The two other white Democrats whose names have been sent up as possibilities, Baton Rouge district attorney Hillar Moore and state senator Gary Smith of LaPlace, seem to have petered out as possibilities – nobody really seems all that interested in supporting either one.


And if Wilson gets in and Garret Graves doesn’t, and the field is Jeff Landry, John Schroder, Sharon Hewitt, Richard Nelson, Shawn Wilson and Hunter Lundy, an old Democrat trial lawyer now calling himself an independent and campaigning as a hyper-religious Christian, then it starts to become difficult to see how this isn’t a Landry-Wilson runoff.

But the history of Louisiana gubernatorial elections doesn’t particularly suggest that races will go the way they’re projected to go. All we know today is what we knew all along – it won’t be Katie Bernhardt getting elected governor this year.



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