Sen. John Kennedy not running for governor
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana U.S. Senator John Kennedy has announced he is not running for Louisiana Governor in the election set for 2019.
Via his official U.S. Senate email, Kennedy states:
"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.”
Moments after the news release was issued, the reelection campaign for Governor John Bel Edwards sent out a statement saying the following:
"For Sen. Kennedy, this was never about the people of Louisiana. This was about focusing the spotlight on himself. Now that this is behind us, my hope is that he will make it a priority to work together with me and the entire congressional delegation to get things done for the hard working families of this state. There are more than 4.5 million good people who call Louisiana home. They deserve to have elected officials who will work together to put Louisiana first.
"I'm proud of my record as governor. Over the past 3 years we've started to clean up the mess we inherited, stabilized funding for critical services, and are running a budget surplus even after reducing the tax burden on the people of Louisiana by $600 million. More people are working in Louisiana than ever before, our state’s gross domestic product is at an all-time high, and we are securing the largest economic development projects in our state’s history. The state and our people are much better off now than they were three years ago, and I look forward to another 5 years of putting the people of Louisiana first.”
The 2019 race right now features Republican challenger and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone.
U.S. Senator John Kennedy, wasn't the only member of the state's delegation that toyed with the idea of running for Governor. U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham could be considering the possibility, however has yet to make an official decision.