Wednesday, December 4, 2013

David Vitter weighs a 2015 gubernatorial run

Posted By on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 1:36 PM

click to enlarge Sen. David Vitter (pictured here with former Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Sen. Mary Landrieu) was first elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1992 and moved up to the U.S. House in 1999. He has been the state's junior U.S. senator since 2005. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Sen. David Vitter (pictured here with former Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Sen. Mary Landrieu) was first elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1992 and moved up to the U.S. House in 1999. He has been the state's junior U.S. senator since 2005.


In an email to supporters this morning, Sen. David Vitter made official what political watchers have long expected: he's mulling a run for the Louisiana governorship in 2015, and will announce his decision by New Year's Day:

Many good friends and supporters have encouraged me to run for Governor in 2015—to bring my focus and leadership to the challenges we face as a state. We started to consider this as a family over Thanksgiving. We certainly haven't made our decision yet, so we'll be reflecting and praying on it very carefully through the Christmas holidays.

A poll last month by Southern Media and Opinion Research found Vitter with a 58 percent approval rating among Louisianans, indicating many had forgiven him for the 2007 scandal in which his telephone number was found among the records of "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey. At the time, Vitter expressed contrition and has made little reference to the incident since.


A Super PAC set up to support Vitter, the Fund for Louisiana's Future, was formed in January and is based in both Washington D.C. and Baton Rouge, so its funds could be used in either a senatorial or gubernatorial race. As of the end of June, the Fund for Louisiana's Future had raised more than $700,000.  

Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, the state's House Democratic leader, has already indicated his intention to run, as has Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, a Republican. Another likely GOP candidate: state Treasurer John Kennedy. The election will be held in Nov. 2015.

Meanwhile, the Democratic State Central Committee of Louisiana has already set up a website to take potshots at Vitter. Vitterforgovernor.com is mostly a placeholder for now, with a photo of the senator taken during a fundraising alligator hunt earlier this year and a cheeky slogan: "It's Time For a Change." 

For more about Vitter's possible plans, read Stephanie Grace's May 2013 cover story, "David Vitter's Resurrection."

The full email from Vitter:


Wendy and I certainly hope your family had a great Thanksgiving. We did, with plenty of time to enjoy each other and reflect on our blessings.

Many good friends and supporters have encouraged me to run for Governor in 2015—to bring my focus and leadership to the challenges we face as a state. We started to consider this as a family over Thanksgiving. We certainly haven't made our decision yet, so we'll be reflecting and praying on it very carefully through the Christmas holidays.

As we do, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. And of course, please offer any insights you have.

Whatever our decision, I'm deeply honored by the opportunity to serve. These are important and, unfortunately, perilous times. We must all redouble our efforts to preserve our freedoms and use them to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids.

Sincerely,

David

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