To be seen as the champion of coastal parishes would not be a bad springboard for a statewide campaign. Whenever Jefferson Parish President John Young enters the Capitol, the talk renews about his running for lieutenant governor in 2015.
“A lot of people are talking to me about that. And I’m flattered. But right now I’m concentrating on representing the citizens of Jefferson Parish and getting through this session, especially with the assault on our autonomy and authority,” he said, referring to legislation that would sidetrack his parish’s lawsuit against oil companies.
There already is a coastal parish president running for the state’s No. 2 office, Billy Nungesser of neighboring Plaquemines Parish. He took 47 percent of the vote against Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne in 2011.
If both Republicans run, it could split the Orleans region and create an opening for another GOP candidate, such as Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, to come out of Acadiana. Angelle is said to be weighing his options of running for governor, or, as an ally says, “two-stepping it” by running for lieutenant governor first.
The prospect of a split Republican field could enhance prospects for making the runoff for the lone Democrat talking about running, Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden. He would not be the only African-American candidate if state Sen. Elbert Guillory, R-Opelousas, also runs.