‘LaPolitics’: New name surfaces for 2023 governor’s race

    Political influencers in Jefferson Parish have been encouraging John Young, the former parish president, to run for the Public Service Commission, LaPolitics subscribers have been reporting. Should he run, Young would be a candidate in District 1, which is currently occupied by Commissioner Eric Skrmetta, who intends to run for re-election. Skrmetta fielded a tough primary challenge in 2014, trailing in second place by about 4,000 votes to Republican Forest Bradley Wright, before beating him by roughly the same margin in the runoff. Since then, however, Skrmetta has taken fundraising quite seriously and is sitting on an eye-opening $300,000 in his campaign war chest. He has also become a close ally of President Donald Trump.

    Multiple sources tell LaPolitics that Ways and Means Chairman Stuart Bishop is considering a run for governor in 2023. Bishop has proved to be an aggressive fundraiser, and he had more than $225,000 in his two state accounts before he ever seized his tax-writing gavel this term. In his current position, he should be able to exceed that pace, and late Gov. Kathleen Blanco reminded us how important a base Acadiana can be. More importantly, Bishop is a student of politics and was a key strategist in the elections of both former Speaker Taylor Barras and current Speaker Clay Schexnayder. Should Bishop stay the path, he most certainly will not be the only politico gunning for the premier post. It’s already expected that the race will interest Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Attorney General Jeff Landry and Public Service Commissioner Craig Greene. A Bishop candidacy would also have ramifications inside the rails at the Capitol, even though he’s term-limited. It would mean that Rep. Jean-Paul Coussan would have a relatively clear field to go after Senate District 23, which is currently held by President Page Cortez, who is likewise term-limited.

    They said it: “Anything can happen at this point,”—State Rep. Ray Garofalo of St. Bernard Parish, on the final days of the first special session of 2020. 

    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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