If there were any doubts that Congressman Ralph Abraham is running for governor next year, they were extinguished by the remarks made during last month’s Elephant Gala. In a pre-recorded address played for attendees, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy captured the room’s attention when he more or less endorsed Abraham’s bid-to-come. Sort of. “Ralph Abraham—a statesman perhaps poised to serve our state even more so,” Cassidy said in the video. “When Ralph speaks, people listen. He is a natural leader. If he stays in the House of Representatives, he’ll do great. If he does something different, he may be even greater.” Abraham, who personally delivered his own remarks, gave a speech that has been described as “politically aggressive.” “He sounded like a gubernatorial candidate to me,” said state Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere.
—With Roger Villere stepping down, the Republican State Central Committee will vote on Feb. 24 to install a new chairman for the first time in 14 years. The latest news from that front comes courtesy of businessman Scott McKnight, who was at one time interested in running and has now thrown his support behind consultant Scott Wilfong. Both men are from Baton Rouge. State Rep. Barry Ivey of Central told friends recently he intends to run, and state Rep. Julie Emerson of Carencro became a candidate last year. Emerson has also been promoting her message in well-crafted videos. Longtime party activist Charlie Buckels of Lafayette and Louis Gurvich of New Orleans also are said to be interested in the job too.
They said it: “All we did is we shrunk the river and put it in a building.” —Rudy Simoneaux of the CPRA, on the new LSU Center for River Studies, on WBRZ-TV