Louisiana House Democratic leader John Bel Edwards said Wednesday that he intends to run for governor in two years.
Edwards characterized himself as a moderate centrist who can attract an array of voters. He said he wants to put Louisiana on a different path than the one Gov. Bobby Jindal paved.
“I’m so disillusioned by what I see after eight years of Bobby Jindal,” he said, citing declining state funding for higher education, the lack of new State Police cadets, the decline in hospital beds for mental health patients and other issues.
Edwards, D-Amite, first expressed his interest in the race Wednesday morning on a Baton Rouge radio show, igniting speculation about the election.
By law, Jindal cannot seek a third, consecutive term.
State Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, a Republican, already is raising money for the race. State Sen. Gerald Long, R-Winnfield, said he also is weighing whether to run.
Edwards is an attorney who has served in the Legislature for five years.
“I’m starting the process of raising money,” Edwards said. “This is just the beginning, and this is very much a marathon.”