ULM political science professor reacts to announcement of Jeff Landry’s candidacy for governor

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MONROE, La. (KNOE) – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is running for governor.

Landry is the first candidate to officially enter the race.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and Treasurer John Schroeder said they were strongly inclined to run, but did not make an official announcement.

“We must come together to build the Louisiana we want,” Landry said in a video announcing his campaign. “The one we need and the one we deserve.”

In the video, Landry explained several reasons why he decided to take up the race, including the increasing violent crime rate, decreasing population, and more.

“I think it’s a sin that 74% of our fourth graders can’t read like they should, and almost 80% of our eighth graders can’t do basic math,” explained Landry.

ULM political science professor Dr. Joshua Stockley expects Landry’s campaign to focus on critical national issues like abortion and immigration.

“Protecting conservative values, making sure Louisiana is one of the conservative strongholds — a safe haven, if you will — in the United States,” Dr. Stockley told KNOE.

Stockley thinks Landry is a candidate, but John Bel Edwards’ victories in 2015 and 2019 are a sign that Louisiana tends to steer clear of far-right Republicans when choosing a governor.

“At the end of the day, while Louisiana is very conservative, we’re very pragmatic,” Stockley said. “We care a little more about what’s going on day to day in the state of Louisiana.”

Stockley adds that more traditional Republicans such as Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy might relate more to voters if they decide to run.

“A more moderate Republican has a very good chance and a better chance than Landry of getting two types of voters,” Stockley said. “One is your conservative independent. And your conservative or moderate democrat.

Incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards has a limited term, and Stockley thinks the Democrats are unlikely to present a strong challenger to succeed him.

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