SHELVING SCHEDLER: SOS now an open seat, special election coming

The field of maybe-candidates who were waiting on Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s exit were also quietly hoping for a special election, rather than a fall 2019 contest. Many like their chances better in a special election, or rather they liked the idea of a free shot outside next year’s statewide cycle.

Well, Schedler gave them what they wanted today when he resigned. Here are the important takeaways:

— The secretary’s final day will be next Tuesday, May 8.

— First assistant Kyle Ardoin is taking over and will immediately be tasked with selecting new voting equipment and overseeing this year’s congressional elections.

— The governor is charged with calling a special election, and the next available dates are Nov. 6 and Dec. 8.

Ardoin would have been a potential candidate to watch. (He ran for the state House a couple cycles ago, worked briefly in government relations and previously served on the West Baton Rouge Parish School Board.) But he told members of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee today that he will not run for the post.

Others who have expressed interest include:

— Former Rep. Bryan Adams

— Speaker Taylor Barras

— Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Cloud

— Rep. Rick Edmonds

— Rep. Paul Hollis

— Sen. Gerald Long

— Rep. Scott Simon

— Sen. Gary Smith

— Rep. Julie Stokes

— Sen. Mike Walsworth

— LSU Board of Supervisors Member Mary Leach Werner

But now that Schedler is out of the way, and since a special election could be just six months away, more contenders are likely to surface. Keep an eye on LaPolitics Weekly on Thursday for more insight!

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