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Prominent lobbyist Stephen Waguespack joins Louisiana governor's race
BATON ROUGE - Stephen Waguespack, the head of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, has joined the crowded Republican field for the upcoming gubernatorial election.
The Daily Advertiser reported Waguespack's decision to officially join the race on Thursday. Sources told WBRZ earlier this week that Waguespack was strongly considering a run for governor.
Other Republican candidates in the race include State Attorney General Jeff Landry, State Senator Sharon Hewitt, State Representative Richard Nelson, and State Treasurer John Schroder. Former Louisiana DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson, the only Democrat in the race so far, announced his campaign Thursday. Hunter Lundy is the sole Independent running.
Waguespack has headed up LABI since 2013. The organization released the following statement Thursday announcing Waguespack's resignation.
Today, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) received a letter of resignation from LABI President and CEO Stephen Waguespack, who has led the organization since 2013. As a result, LABI is prepared to commence a nationwide search to find the next leader of the organization.
"In leading LABI over the last decade, Stephen has not only had a tremendous impact on the organization, but the entire Louisiana business community," said Jude Melville, LABI's 2023 board chairman and b1BANK CEO. "Among the many accomplishments of his tenure, Stephen’s most tangible legacy will be the establishment of LABI’s Center for Free Enterprise. While serving as a physical gathering spot for Louisiana’s most critical business and political conversations, it is also symbolic of the broad role LABI plays as a powerful voice for Louisiana’s economic interest, a role that has grown exponentially over Stephen’s tenure. On behalf of LABI’s board and membership, I want to thank Stephen for positioning the organization to thrive over the coming years and wish him great success in his future endeavors."
With Waguespack’s departure, LABI is expected to appoint an interim president and CEO next week that will serve until a permanent replacement is named.
In a letter sent to the LABI Board of Directors this afternoon, Waguespack said:
“With a heavy heart and after prayerful deliberation, I have decided I will be stepping down from my position as CEO of the organization. I have loved my last ten years with you all and I will forever be proud of everything that we have accomplished together. I have informed the board officers, pledged to them my assistance in the transition, and will do all that I can as they begin a search for a new leader. You all are the heart and soul of free enterprise in Louisiana. Thank you and please stay committed to this wonderful state we all love.”
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