Candidates in the race for Louisiana governor have descended on Washington’s Mardi Gras celebration to raise money and make their pitches to the state’s “elite” in a social setting far from home.
Candidates spend time face-to-face with lobbyists and politicians, taking advantage of Mardi Gras merriment as elections loom. Because conversations don’t begin with an ask, “you get to know people on a personal level,” said state Rep. Richard Nelson, a Mandeville Republican who launched his campaign for governor just last week.
“Everybody is centralized, easy to get to,” said newly announced candidate Sen. Sharon Hewitt (R) Slidell. “It’s a great time to meet people.” Hewitt said she is visiting the congressional delegation to get updates and lobby for the $4.6 billion project for levees and flood protection around Slidell.
Attorney General Jeff Landry, former Republican congressman from New Iberia, is considered the front-runner due to his fundraising prowess and the backing of the executive committee of the Louisiana Republican Party. On Wednesday he held a fundraiser event to benefit the state Republican Party which, along with private gatherings, are expected to raise $500,000 for his campaign.
Calling his a cocktail party the Krewe de Schroder, state Treasurer John Schroder, R-Covington, held his campaign fundraiser at the Washington Hilton Hotel. Schroder, who is also running for governor, did not return calls seeking comment.
No major Democrat has announced yet for this fall's governor's election. State Department of Transportation & Development Secretary Shawn Wilson of Lafayette has said he is looking at the race, as has state Senator Gary Smith of Norco.
One Independent announced his candidacy two weeks ago; watch his video here: