Kennedy has $3 million in campaign war chest

Advocate staff file photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy Show caption
Advocate staff file photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy

State Treasurer John Kennedy pulled a political surprise Monday, filing his 2013 campaign fundraising report a month early and declaring $3 million in the bank.

On the report filed with the Louisiana Board of Ethics, Kennedy indicated he is seeking re-election. However, his plans could change as the candidate lineup forms for the 2015 governor’s race.

Kennedy, a Republican who did not return a call seeking comment Monday, drew in a number of $5,000 contributions. State law limits individual contributions to $5,000.

Adams and Reese law firm gave Kennedy $5,000, as did Associated Branch Pilots.

In 2013, Kennedy raised $825,571.40 and spent $197,350.43. He had $2.3 million on hand before he even started collecting contributions.

His campaign expenses included consultants, coffee creamer, office rent, Facebook advertising and a social media campaign. His campaign also picked up the subscription cost for American Oxonian, a publication of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars. Kennedy is a former Rhodes Scholar.

Gov. Bobby Jindal cannot seek re-election in 2015 because of prohibitions against a third consecutive term. His removal from the race opens the field for candidates. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Kennedy are among the Republicans considering a run, with Dardenne firmly saying he intends to be a candidate.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., announced before Christmas that he was looking at the race as well. Vitter was supposed to consider a campaign with his family over the holidays. Since then, he has been silent about his deliberations.

A third-party Super PAC raised $1.5 million last year to support Vitter. The money could be used to help a re-election bid or a gubernatorial race.