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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jim Tucker running for secretary of state?

Posted By on Sun, May 15, 2011 at 8:39 AM

House Speaker Jim Tucker, R-Algiers, is considering a bid for secretary of state in the fall statewide elections. Tucker is term limited in the House, and his attempt to get a state Senate district drawn to his liking during the redistricting session failed. That puts him in an “up or out” situation — one that term limits have forced on many lawmakers.

In addition to Tucker, the potential field includes interim Secretary of State Tom Schedler, who got the job when his old boss, Jay Dardenne, won a special election as lieutenant governor; attorney Caroline Fayard, who won 43 percent of the vote against Dardenne in the special election for lieutenant governor last November; and state Rep. Walker Hines, who has served only one term in the House but whose district was carved up after the 2010 Census and reapportionment.

Fayard is the only Democrat in the field so far. Hines switched to the GOP after the November 2008 elections. Tucker and Schedler are GOP veterans. Schedler previously served in the state Senate, representing St. Tammany Parish.

Tucker is said to be quietly assessing his chances and talking up his potential candidacy among supporters. He is probably the best known and best financed Republican — so far — among those looking at the race. Between his own campaign finance committee and his political action committee, called T PAC, Tucker has a combined $400,000 in his war chest.

Schedler’s latest campaign finance report shows him with $141,000 on hand, all of which he personally loaned to his campaign. Hines’ latest report shows him with $165,000.

Fayard’s latest campaign finance report shows her with barely $13,000 on hand, but her family’s substantial wealth enabled her to raise more than $1 million last year in her race against Dardenne. She is expected to be well financed in the race for secretary of state.

Qualifying is Sept. 6-8.

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