In a speech this afternoon at the Baton Rouge Press Club, New Orleans Mayor (and former Louisiana Lieutenant Governor) Mitch Landrieu made it official
: He won't be running for governor in November.
's Mark Ballard quoted Landrieu as saying:
“I’m only one person and I can’t be in two places at one time. I have been blessed to become the mayor of what I consider to be the greatest city in America at a time when she has the greatest need and she has greatest opportunity to leap forward.”
In a story last month examining Landrieu's chances (and appetite) for the office, Jeremy Alford wrote:
Sources close to the mayor insist he has not ruled out the possibility of joining the field. But they also point to his latest campaign finance reports, which show $33,000 in the bank, all carried over from last year's re-election effort. The report with the money indicates the cash is for a "future election," which will not be for mayor because he is term-limited. The last donation Landrieu accepted in 2014 came in September.
While Landrieu certainly is in a position to raise piles of cash quickly should he decide to run, $33,000 is not the number a serious candidate would want to start his campaign. There is a good reason for the poor showing. Landrieu drained his coffers last year for his re-election and immediately went to war helping his sister in a heated Senate campaign while dealing with a long list of controversial issues in the city. If nothing else, the performance of his sister, former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, in last year's federal election may have the mayor wondering if a grinding statewide campaign in a state that still tilts "red" is worth the effort.
Mary Landrieu was swept up in an anti-Democrat wave that linked her firmly to President Barack Obama and washed away the lion's share of her white vote last year. More than just theoretically, the same could happen to the mayor in another statewide election this fall.
Landrieu's statement today puts an end to the speculation he might be the Democrats' best chance to face off against Sen. David Vitter in a runoff, a theory stated aloud
in February by the heads of the Democratic Governors Association.