Attorney General Jeff Landry piles up cash for his Louisiana governor's campaign blitz

Greg Hilburn
Monroe News-Star

Louisiana GOP Attorney General Jeff Landry has already amassed $5 million cash on hand for his 2023 governor's campaign blitz as two other statewide-elected Republicans Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and Treasurer John Schroder are poised to join him in the race.

Landry's top campaign official told USA Today Network the candidate will report more than $5 million in the bank, while the political action committee supporting Landry has an additional $1.5 million on hand to support his campaign.

"We are and have been running an aggressive race because Jeff knows this is about the future of Louisiana," Landry's longtime political consultant Brent Littlefield said.

Landry is the only major candidate to officially announce his candidacy, though Nungesser will announce his decision Jan. 10 and Schroder will announce his decision Jan. 12.

The two-term attorney general has secured the early endorsement of the Louisiana Republican Party, which has also been raising money to support Landry, to the chagrin of Nungesser, Schroder and other potential GOP candidates.

Nungesser and Schroder had been on hold waiting on Republican U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, who announced Jan. 4 he is opting out of the race. Both are certain to court Kennedy's support if they run.

"Sen. Kennedy continues to play a vital role in fighting for Louisiana in the United States Senate," Nungesser said. "I have always enjoyed our friendship and working relationship. We share a common interest in making our state the best it can be. And I look forward to continue working with Sen. Kennedy for all of Louisiana."

Schroder expressed similar sentiments.

Attorney General Jeff Landry request press conference before court hearing. Thursday, June 10, 2021.

"I'm happy Sen. Kennedy is staying in the Senate," he said. "I think he's done a great job and we can sure use him in Washington. I have much respect for him and know he'll continue to do an outstanding job for the citizens of Louisiana. As I've said for some time now, we will make an announcement on Jan. 12 on what our intentions are in the governor's race."

Two-term Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, is term-limited and can't run for reelection.

Edwards' Secretary of Transportation Shawn Wilson, a Democrat, is considering the race.

Among the other Republicans considering: Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves; state Sen. Sharon Hewitt of Slidell; and state Rep. Richard Nelson of Mandeville.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.