In what might be a slap at both David Vitter and/or current Louisiana governor and presidential hopeful, Bobby Jindal, Angelle said, "I'm excited to share after prayerful consideration and consultation with family and friends across the state that I will be a candidate for governor next fall," he said in a prepared statement. "I am convinced Louisiana's best days are still ahead of us. Now is the time for leadership that will be more focused on getting us across the goal line rather than grabbing the headline."
Angelle, a former Democrat, worked for both Governor Blanco and for Governor Jindal.
According to LaPolitics:
...Angelle will need some breaks, possibly from pushback on Vitter's massive campaign war chest, aided by an outside super PAC, and maybe by the entrance of more Democratic candidates. In regard to the latter, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu could suck some of the wind out of Angelle's upstart, should he decide to run. On the Republican side, Treasurer John Kennedy remains quiet, although he's said to be seriously considering the race and has not yet ruled it out.
Angelle also faces a difficult set of challenges. With $175,000 in the bank as of mid-February, he'll need to aggressively raise money to compete and bring a message to TV. His seat on the PSC could prove helpful. He'll also need a strong topic or personality to run against. But most of all, he'll have to manage avoiding Jindal's growing unpopularity. The governor has put Angelle in several powerful positions, having appointed him lieutenant governor, legislative liaison and as a member of the LSU Board of Supervisors. Republicans will probably, at some point, question his switch from the GOP four years ago.
The Angelle decision comes at a time when David Vitter shows significant strength and is obviously the man to beat.
A recent PPP poll, shows that 46% of likely voters view Vitter favorably with 35% disapproving. Thirty-two percent approve of Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne's performance while 20% disapprove. Mitch Landrieu has a 46 to 31% differential. Jon Bel Edwards, who for now appears to be the official Democratic Party candidate (unless Landrieu or some other candidate enter the race) has 46% favorable against 31% unfavorable.
In one-on-one matchups, Vitter beats Edwards 50%-32%, tops Landrieu 47%-38% and Dardenne 37%-30%.
In an non-Vitter match, Dardenne leads Edwards 44%-30%.
In a May 2014 SMOR poll, Mitch Landrieu (D) and David Vitter (R) led the pack of six prospective candidates with each pulling 29% of the vote (58% total with 11% undecided), with Republican State Treasurer John Kennedy (R) and Dardenne in a second tier with 12% and 11% respectively, Edwards (D) grabbing 6% and Angelle (R) nabbing only 4%.
The Angelle decision also raises the prospect that even more candidates might decide to enter the race. Kennedy, who will be addressing the Baton Rouge press club on Monday to discuss the state health insurance debacle might start revving up the campaign motor. Another high-profile name, Lt. General Russel Honore, who has been a driving force helping environmental causes, could be another.
Unlike the past two gubernatorial elections where Jindal sucked the air out of the campaign rooms with strong support from the Republican Party, the Louisiana governor's campaign 2015 could become a free-for-all on both the democratic and the republican sides.
One of the questions that will be raised is the role of Bobby Jindal. He has had little or no presence in the current congressional and US Senate races as his eyes are on helping republican candidates outside of Louisiana, primarily those in early caucus and primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.
Many political followers, including this one, have felt that Angelle would be Jindal's candidate as none of the other named candidates have any positive relationships with the current governor. However, Angelle's "grabbing headlines" snip was surely intentional and he must have known that the audience would infer Jindal as, at least, one of the targets being insulted .
Regardless, Jindal, with his poll numbers in the soup, with his eyes on a larger prize and with his coat having zero tails, his presence in choosing his successor might be very minor even with a healthy unused campaign treasure chest available to those for the asking.