After arriving in the Louisiana Senate following a 2009 special election and currently in his first full term, state Sen. Norby Chabert, R-Houma, has confirmed he is being courted to oppose U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's re-election next year. But Chabert — until two years ago a registered Democrat — added he is focused on his work in the state Senate for now and any kind of significant thought on the proposition would have to be given later. Moreover, Chabert said the U.S. Senate race isn’t the only one in his sights. “I’m being asked about a couple of different races,” he said.
Chabert's experience of working on coastal issues and with the oil and gas industry are among the reasons that sources say energy interests are encouraging him to run, in an effort to undercut Landrieu's similar strengths, although the senior U.S. senator unarguably has a longer record of service in that regard than does Chabert.
But there’s another connection between the two: Chabert served as a trusted consultant to Landrieu during her 2002 re-election campaign. In 2009, he told the Houma Courier, “Doing everything I could to see Sen. Landrieu get elected was a major accomplishment for me... And I’ve learned a lot from Sen. Landrieu as well.’”
When asked about his former gig, Chabert said, “It's only fair to say that I worked for her over 10 years ago and I've served for years in elected office and that is a lot of time to change your views on something — or somebody.”
Landrieu, a New Orleans Democrat, first assumed office on the Hill in 1997 and is considered by Republicans to be a top target nationally in 2014. She has already drawn an opponent in U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, whose 6th District Chabert lives in.
When Cassidy announced in April he would be opposing Landrieu, speculation turned to Chabert as a possible candidate for the open U.S. House seat, speculation that could intensify in the coming months if he backs away from challenging Landrieu.