Breaux Not Running for Governor
John Breaux is not running for governor of Louisiana.
Democratic former U.S. Sen. John Breaux said Friday he will not be a candidate for governor this fall because he did not get a definitive legal opinion from the state attorney general clearing up his status as a citizen of the state. In a lengthy statement issued through the state Democratic Party, Breaux said the failure to obtain “a clear declaration of my status as a citizen greatly inhibits my ability to conduct a campaign based on the issues instead of the law. I said I would be guided by the attorney general’s opinion and, therefore, will not be a candidate.”
Attorney General Charles Foti refused to issue an opinion, claiming the matter would ultimately go to court and should be resolved by a judge.
The 70-year-old Foti is a Democrat, in case you were wondering.
This makes Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal the odds-on favorite to win the election. Breaux was the only Democrat with the stature to be an obvious challenger and I’m not sure he wanted to risk ending a storied political career in defeat.
State GOP Chairman Roger Villere is probably right in this assessment:
I believe he was intrigued by the thought of running and thought that when he announced that it’d be handed to him. (But) I think it reached the point where he was looking for a way out. When Foti came out with the decision he made, it gave (Breaux) a way to move on with his life and his career as a consultant and a lobbyist. John realized he didn’t have anywhere to go but go home, go back to Maryland.
The last dig, while funny, is rather unfair. Breaux served in the U.S. House from 1972-1987 and the Senate from 1987-2005, representing first his district and then his state. Still, the fact of the matter is that he has now spent more of his life living in the Washington, D.C. area than in Louisiana. Indeed, he was only 28 when elected to Congress and he actually worked as a staffer for his predecessor, Edwin Edwards, before that.
And, frankly, for someone of Breaux’ stature, being a lobbyist is less stressful and more lucrative than being governor. Even in Louisiana.