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2023 Gubernatorial Race Updates

March 16, 2023 1:06 PM | Shelly Dupre (Administrator)

Speculate no more. The Democratic candidate that garnered much speculation about whether he would jump into the race has announced. Now former Louisiana Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, a Democrat, recently stepped down from the top position at DOTD and officially announced his candidacy for the top job in the state. Governor John Bel Edwards endorsed Shawn Wilson's campaign for Louisiana governor, saying, "the longtime transportation official will bridge partisan divides and has the government know-how to confront the state's many challenges."

On the Republican side, Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves ended any talk on whether he would enter the race to replace Gov. John Bel Edwards. It seems that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., recently naming Graves chair of the Elected Leadership Committee and to a seat on the House Republican Steering Committee was too good to pass up – and good for Louisiana too. Congressman Graves announced that he’s keeping his DC job, buthis interview quote raised questions as to who he could be referring to considering Rep. Nelson is the youngest announced candidate“In the coming days, the field for governor will brighten. And Louisiana will have a generational opportunity to write America’s greatest comeback story”.

Following Graves announcement that he would be keeping his job in DC, Stephen Waguespack stepped down from his role as president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) and announced his candidacy. The only other person who had previously stated that he was considering a run depending on what Congressman Graves would do is term-limited Speaker Clay Schexnayder. It’s now unclear if Schexnayder is still eyeing the top spot now that Stephen Waguespack has jumped into the race.

The race already has four declared Republican candidates: Attorney General Jeff Landry, State Treasurer John Schroder, state Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, and state Rep. Richard Nelson, R-Mandeville. Lake Charles businessman Hunter Lundy has also said he will run as a political independent. 

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