As Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu prepares himself to become mayor of New Orleans, Gov. >Bobby Jindal is looking around for a temporary successor to Landrieu. It is widely expected that whomever Jindal nominates as Landrieu's temporary replacement will not run for the office in the October special election. Meanwhile, the potential candidates for that special election include Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, a Republican, Senate President Joel Chaisson, D-Destrehan, St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis, a Republican, former Gov. Kathleen Blanco (also a former lieutenant governor and a Democrat), and state GOP chair Roger Villere of Metairie.
"I'm definitely interested in something when I finish my Senate career," Chaisson says, adding that he wants to complete the upcoming regular session before making a final decision. "But I am interested in running for the lieutenant governor's position in the fall." Whoever runs in the fall will need lots of cash. Dardenne's most recent campaign finance report showed he started the year with $256,000 on hand. Chaisson's war chest had $195,000, according to his report. There's one other glaring difference between the two campaign accounts: Most of Dardenne's money was carried over from his election and first year in office, and he raised only $1,100 last year; Chaisson, meanwhile, collected $190,000 of his campaign kitty in 2009 alone. Dardenne, Chaisson and any others who run will have to hit the fundraising trail hard in coming months. — Jeremy Alford