Dardenne expects to run for governor

Jay Dardenne
Jay Dardenne

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne said Wednesday that he expects to run for governor in 2015.

“I’m not announcing that I’m running. I’ve told people my expectation is that I will run. I’m getting encouragement from a lot of people,” he said in a telephone interview.

Dardenne is the second Republican to publicly express interest in succeeding Gov. Bobby Jindal. State Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain also is looking at the race.

On the Democratic side, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, of Amite, said last month that he plans to run as well.

Jindal is prohibited by law from seeking a third consecutive term.

As lieutenant governor, Dardenne is the second
highest-ranking official in the state. Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco was lieutenant governor before she became the state’s first woman governor. Earl Long also used the lieutenant governor position as a launching pad for the Governor’s Office.

Dardenne was at a luncheon in Baton Rouge on Wednesday when he was asked if he planned to run for governor.

He told the audience of women in media that he does plan to run.

Prior to becoming lieutenant governor, Dardenne was secretary of state and a legislator. He is a lawyer.

Dardenne flirted with the idea of challenging U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., in 2014 before dismissing the idea. He said he raised $850,000 in campaign funds last year that can be used to seek a statewide office.

He will be in Monroe next month to raise more money.