Louisiana GOP Senator Kennedy passes on governor bid

"I have looked into my heart and decided to remain in the Senate and not to run for governor," Kennedy said.

Updated: January 5, 2023 - 10:27am

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Louisiana GOP Sen. John Kennedy says he won't run for governor this fall, putting Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry as the likely GOP front-runner for the post. 

"I have looked into my heart and decided to remain in the Senate and not to run for governor," Kennedy said in an email, the Lafayette Daily Advertiser reported Wednesday.

"I just think I can help my state and my country more in the Senate," wrote Kennedy, who last year won reelection with more than 60% of the vote.

With incumbent Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards ineligible to run for a third-consecutive term, Landry is the only major candidate to officially have announced his campaign for governor.

Other Republicans may announce their candidacies soon. 

GOP Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser said he will announce on Jan. 10 his intentions to run. On Wednesday he released a poll he commissioned showing himself as leading Landry in the gubernatorial race at 23% to 22%. 

Republican Treasurer John Schroder is scheduled to announce his plans for the governor's race on Jan. 12. He previously said he would only run if Kennedy did not.