Sen. David Vitter to Decide Soon on La. Governor Run

Image: Sen. David Vitter to Decide Soon on La. Governor Run

Tuesday, 03 Dec 2013 10:03 PM

By Amy Woods

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Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, who for years has been fingered as the next Republican to lead the Bayou State when Gov. Bobby Jindal leaves office, said Tuesday an announcement about the 2015 election will be made in January.

"This is the logical time to do it, if I'm ever going to do it," Vitter told The Washington Post. "There are strong arguments in either direction, but the general question in my mind is where I think I can make the most positive contribution."

Vitter has long been rumored as a potential successor to outgoing Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is term-limited. He told AP he is sending an e-mail to supporters and discussing his next move with his family.

Other GOP contenders could include Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne or the state's treasurer, John Kennedy.

The 52-year-old Vitter bounced back from an admitted prostitution-ring scandal in 2007, winning re-election in 2010. According to the Associated Press, Vitter wants to discuss any campaign for governor with his family.

Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne has said he intends to run, along with Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. A list of others are eyeing the position, including Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy.

Vitter's approval ratings are high in Louisiana, and his ability to rake in campaign donations is strong. And he has proved to be a resilient politician, holding elected office for more than two decades as a state and federal lawmaker and easily winning re-election to a second U.S. Senate term in 2010, despite a prostitution scandal.

He admitted to a "serious sin" after phone records linked him to Washington's "D.C. Madam" prostitution case in 2007, but he's never commented further on whether he broke the law, instead saying his family had forgiven him and moved past it.

Voters, too, haven't held the scandal against Vitter, with more than 58 percent giving him good marks in a recent Southern Media and Opinion Research poll about his job performance.

"Should U.S. Sen. David Vitter pursue the (governor's) post, his popularity with Republican voters gives him the advantage over his Republican rivals," pollster Bernie Pinsonat said.

A possible gubernatorial bid is boosted further by a pro-Vitter super PAC formed nearly a year ago that has raised at least $750,000 so far.

Vitter could run for governor in 2015 without forfeiting his current elected position, which isn't up for re-election until 2016.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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