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At this point, its safe to say there's no clear favorite to become the next Governor in Louisiana. Of course, there's plenty of time between now and the election in October of 2023, but candidates are already lining up.

Governor John Bel Edwards will be term-limited, so a new Democratic candidate will have to be found. Right now there are only a couple of potential names being floated, and all but one have some baggage or obstacles.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell would likely not be able to shake the COVID problems from New Orleans in a statewide election. State Senator Gary Smith Jr is very unknown on a state level. Cedric Richmond just took a position in the White House, which would probably be tough to give up in an uncertain election. The best of the candidates is Mitch Landrieu, the former Mayor of New Orleans, who won that position twice without a runoff.

So far, there have been four candidates who have officially announced, or publicly expressed interest in running. All four are Republicans, including State Representative Stuart Bishop, Attorney General Jeff Landry, State Treasurer John Schroder, State Senator Rick Ward, and Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.

Essentially all of those candidates are in good position. Their biggest weakness is recognition with mainstream voters statewide. There are some concerns over the ideology of a candidate like Landry when it comes to voters in a general election, but there's no evidence to support that in polling right now.

A lot of other names have been floated on the Republican side, even if those individuals haven't signaled their interest. Names like US Senator John Kennedy, US Representative Steve Scalise, and State Senator Sharon Hewitt have all been floated as potential candidates. They're all solid names, but one floating around might actually have the best chance out of all the announced and potential names.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

United States Senator Bill Cassidy has not signaled interest in running for Governor, but according to experts, he might already be the favorite.

He's won two terms in the US Senate, which is a statewide race, proving he can win across the state. During his time in Washington, Cassidy has got regular TV time on cable news, something that helps boost his recognition. He's worked on major legislation, that can be used to promote his political successes.

But according to pollster Ron Faucheux, the thing that some would consider to be his biggest weakness, would actually serve has his biggest asset in a statewide runoff election.

Cassidy voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. Cassidy wasn't alone, he was joined by 6 other Republicans. That vote angered the former President, and many of his supporters. But it also could help with moderates, independents, and Democrats in a statewide election.

The actions of Governor Edwards during the COVID pandemic will likely be considered by voters in 2023. Meaning that Democrats will pay for it at the ballot box. Those actions could make a moderate Democrat consider someone like Cassidy as an option, instead of a Democratic candidate like LaToya Cantrell.

With his name recognition, bipartisan potential, and legislative successes, Cassidy might be the strongest candidate available, even if he's not interested right now.

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