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‘LaPolitics’: Attention turns to 2016 ballot; Boustany lands sub-chair in D.C.

After being handed the smaller share of the votes in the governor’s race, U.S. Sen. David Vitter told supporters that he would not seek re-election next year on the 2016 ballot.

That has helped ramp up the speculation about the race, with Congressman Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, saying two days after the runoff election that he’s preparing to make a major announcement “very soon.”

Boustany, Treasurer John Kennedy and Congressman John Fleming, R-Minden, have all said they would be interested in running for the Senate seat if Vitter does not. Retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, who ran for the U.S. Senate last year, has said the same.

Friends of Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, who ran third in the race for governor, is said to be sizing up a Senate run in 2016 as well. But he has also expressed some interest in the 3rd Congressional District should Boustany decide to go through with his plans to run for Vitter’s seat.

Aides to Gov. Bobby Jindal say the former presidential candidate is in no way interested in running, but other names have been floated lately.

Sources say former state Sen. Troy Hebert, a registered independent, is being encouraged to run for the U.S. Senate seat next year. Hebert announced last week that he will be stepping down as commissioner of the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control at the end of year.

Also being encouraged to run for the U.S. Senate seat is Zach Dasher, the Republican cousin of the Duck Dynasty family who was narrowly edged out of the runoff last year in the 5th Congressional District.

Nationally, speculation on the Democratic side has focused on New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who has told reporters he hasn’t ruled it out, but appears more focused on finishing up his current term and possibly playing a regional role in the upcoming presidential election.

—On Capitol Hill, where you sit is who you are and Congressman Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, has a pretty nice chair for what’s to come in D.C. He was chosen last week to lead the Ways and Means Committee’s Tax Policy Subcommittee. With House Speaker Paul Ryan and Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady moving forward with tax reform, Boustany will have a key role to play. And he’ll play it well, given his past forays into tax policy and the national headlines they created.

They said it: “Does this mean you’re not going to have a job anymore?” —Gov. Bobby Jindal, recalling what his son asked him after the governor dropped out of the presidential race

Jeremy Alford publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter, or on Facebook. He can be reached at JJA@LaPolitics.com.

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