Landrieu Won’t Rule Out Challenging Vitter In 2016

The New Orleans Mayor said he doesn’t regret passing on the governor’s race, but may be interested in running for the Senate.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu speaks at a news conference at City Hall in New Orleans, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
Karyn Bruggeman
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Karyn Bruggeman
Nov. 14, 2015, 10:43 p.m.

NEW OR­LEANS, La. – New Or­leans May­or Mitch Landrieu passed on run­ning for gov­ernor in Louisi­ana when the race looked un­winnable for Demo­crats. But now that Demo­crat­ic state Rep. John Bel Ed­wards is favored to be­come the state’s next gov­ernor, Landrieu main­tains he has no re­grets in passing on the cam­paign – des­pite the missed op­por­tun­ity.

“No. No, I love be­ing may­or of the city of New Or­leans,” Landrieu said. “What I need is a great part­ner in Bat­on Rouge, and to make sure that Wash­ing­ton, Bat­on Rouge and the city are all work­ing to­geth­er, be­cause New Or­leans has a long way to go but we’re really on the right path. So, I’m thrilled about it. I’m thrilled that John Bel’s go­ing to be the next gov­ernor, and I’m thrilled I’m go­ing to have a part­ner to con­tin­ue to help make New Or­leans a great city.”

Landrieu spoke at a rally Sat­urday morn­ing for Ed­wards in Duncan Plaza, just next to city hall in down­town New Or­leans – and Landrieu got his mo­ment on the gubernat­ori­al stage, sort of. Ed­wards was too sick to at­tend the rally, so Landrieu ended up be­ing the event’s main at­trac­tion. Landrieu rolled up in jeans, sneak­ers and sunglasses, wear­ing a tight-fit­ting black t-shirt with a “NOLA” logo em­blazoned on the front, and offered an en­thu­si­ast­ic ap­prais­al of Ed­wards.  

Landrieu cast the un­ex­pec­tedly com­pet­it­ive race as a byproduct of na­tion­al polit­ic­al up­heav­al wit­nessed in the pres­id­en­tial race, and a gen­er­al dis­con­tent with the status quo.

“I think every­body’s sur­prised. The whole polit­ic­al world is up­side down on the na­tion­al level. The nor­mal rules don’t ap­ply. A long time ago every­body ac­ted like Dav­id Vit­ter was the pro­hib­it­ive fa­vor­ite. Nobody thought that he could be beat. I think the world is up­side down on that now,” Landrieu said, adding, “I don’t think it’s over…it’s go­ing to be im­port­ant that people get out to the polls and vote.”

Asked wheth­er he’d con­sider a Sen­ate run against Vit­ter if he loses, Landrieu didn’t rule out the idea. “I want to wait un­til after this elec­tion’s over to even think about that,” Landrieu said. 

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