Senator Kennedy announces he will not run for Louisiana governor

Jim Hanzo
December 03, 2018 - 9:19 am

Jack Gruber-USA TODAY NETWORK

Categories: 

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has ended months of speculation about the Louisiana governor's race, saying he won't run against Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards in 2019.

The shocking announcement Monday removes a formidable opponent from the race and leaves Republicans scrambling without a well-known contender as they try to unseat the Deep South's only Democratic governor.

Kennedy released his plans in a statement, saying he can help Louisiana by staying in Washington.

Suggestions that Kennedy would challenge Edwards began nearly as soon as he was elected senator two years ago. But Edwards remains popular, and Kennedy has quickly raised his profile in Washington.

Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone is the lone Republican challenger to Edwards' bid for a second term. Also considering the race is U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham.

 

Here is a statement from John Kennedy: 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today:  

“Last month, three of my Senate colleagues, two of my House colleagues, and I met in Beijing with Premier Li Keqiang, the second ranking Chinese government official, and others to discuss several issues.  The State Department asked us in particular to lobby China to stop Chinese citizens from exporting synthetic fentanyl and the ingredients to make it to Mexico, from which fentanyl enters the United States.  We hammered hard.  This weekend, President Xi Jinping, meeting with President Trump, announced that China would designate fentanyl a “controlled substance” subject to the maximum penalty under Chinese law.  Fentanyl killed more Americans last year than we lost during the entirety of the Vietnam War.  Much of it came to the United States from China.  The credit for this breakthrough goes to Presidents Trump and Xi, but it sure made me feel like our trip to Beijing was worthwhile.  

I love being in the United States Senate.  I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2019.  I will, however, continue to work hard every day in D.C. and Louisiana for jobs, economic growth, cheaper health insurance, a stronger military, and an end to government waste.  I am fortunate to sit on powerful Senate committees that provide a venue to do that.  It is such an honor to represent the people of Louisiana in the United States Senate.  Right now, that’s where I think I can do the most good.  

I hope someone runs for Governor who understands that Louisiana state government does not have to be a big, slow, dumb, wasteful, sometimes corrupt, spend-money-like-it-was-ditchwater, anti-taxpayer, top down institution.  I love Louisiana as much as I love my country, and the people of my state deserve a state government as good as they are.  

Thank you to the many people who offered me advice about my decision.  I listened carefully.  You taught me a lot.

Finally, I want to thank the many constituents who encouraged me to run.  Your support humbles me.  It is my honor to serve you in the United States Senate.  You, and your families, are the reason I get up to do this job each and every day.”

###

 

Comments ()