Sen. David Vitter, R-La., has announced he will run for governor in 2015 when current Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s term has expired.
"I believe that as our next Governor, I can have a bigger impact addressing the unique challenges and opportunities we face in Louisiana,” Vitter wrote in an email obtained by the Associated Press. He pledged it would be his “last political job” if he won, and that he would focus on education, the budget, tax and spending reform and government accountability.
Vitter has a reputation for being an ardent conservative and one of the most prominent Republican critics of Obamacare. During the 16-day government shutdown in October, his oft-proposed amendment to end subsidies for Congressional staffers to help pay for their health insurance became one of the chief demands from House Republicans.
A gubernatorial bid is a largely risk-free proposition for Vitter, who won his Senate seat in 2004 and was reelected in 2010 despite being linked to a 2007 D.C. prostitution scandal. Louisiana law allows him to run without giving up his Senate seat, where he won’t be up for reelection until 2016.
The field is already filling up with candidates to fill Jindal’s seat. Vitter will face the state’s Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and state Rep. John Bel Edwards, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
Prior to being a senator, Vitter served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Louisiana House of Representatives.