February 24, 2023
This fall’s governor race is promising to be one of the most expensive campaigns in Louisiana history, with candidates expected to raise and spend an estimated $100 million.
Political experts attribute these high numbers to the state's open primary system, where all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, appear on the same ballot. This necessitates higher spends on messaging to stand out in a crowded field.
So far, Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry is leading the field with more than $5 million cash on hand entering 2023. "The biggest takeaway from these first campaign finance reports is that Jeff Landry has mastered the art of financing a campaign with three or four accounts in his corner," Jeremy Alford of La Politics said. "I don't think I've ever seen a more organized, sophisticated approach."
Behind Landry for Republican support is Treasurer John Schroder who has raised $2.4 million, Senator Sharon Hewitt at $617,875, and Representative Richard Nelson at $197,346.
Then there's attorney Hunter Lundy of Lake Charles, an Independent who posted $1.65 million. Lundy describes himself as a conservative Christian.
"Our campaign finished #2 in fundraising," Lundy tweeted. "More than a statewide office holder, a powerful state senator, and a prominent state representative. I'm fighting to get things done in this state while the two parties fight each other."
The early efforts of both the Republicans and Lundy leave a lot of catching up to do for Democrat Shawn Wilson, who announced retirement as Edwards' transportation secretary last week with intention to enter the race without formally announcing yet.
The race for governor is a high-stakes affair, with the future of Louisiana on the line. Pray for a “new Louisiana!”