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Fleming: Vitter Very Close to Announcing He’s Running For Governor

David Vitter
Win McNamee/Getty

It is going to be a very interesting two-year stretch politically here in Louisiana as senate and gubernatorial races will affect each other.

The biggest question mark going into this political season is what Senator David Vitter is going to do.

“Vitter is very, very close to announcing he is going to run,” Congressman John Fleming told 710 KEEL.  ”I’m just saying that I know him personally.  He hasn’t said anything to me personally, but just gauging the signals he’s putting out there, he’s all but announced that he’s running.”

Mary Landrieu
Kris Connor/Getty Images

The other big factor is what happens in the 2014 senate race between Senator Mary Landrieu and Congressman Bill Cassidy.  Not only will that race affect the senate seat, but it could affect who challenges Vitter or another Republican for the governor’s office.

“If Mary Landrieu wins, that in fact makes it harder for Mitch Landrieu to run for governor,” explained political consultant Elliott Stonecipher.  ”If she loses, Mary Landrieu and the other Landrieus would love to see Mitch in the governor’s office.”

Right now, the only candidate that seems to seek the governor’s office on the Democratic side is John Bel Edwards.

new orleans mayor mitch landrieu
Chris Graythen, Getty Images

“I do think it’s fair for everyone to expect John Bel Edwards begin to assert his position as the real and unquestionable Democrat in the governor’s race,” Stonecipher noted.  The political consultant added Edwards will be making that push after the 2014 Senate race is determined.

Should Vitter win the governor’s race, that would mean an open Senate seat to fill.  And an another round of musical chairs.

Stonecipher says should Vitter become the next governor and Landrieu is reelected, Cassidy could be a candidate to take Vitter’s senate seat.  Should Cassidy win, Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy would likely be the favorite.

And there definitely won’t be a Vitter-Jindal switch-a-roo.

Louisiana Gov. Jindal Inspects 17th St Canal Ahead Of Storm
Chris Graythen/Getty

“Those of us who watch this daily know there truly is a problem.  A real, real kind of fight that goes on between Bobby Jindal and David Vitter,” explained Stonecipher.

“And it’s real for real reasons,” continued Stonecipher.  ”And by the way, many of those go back to the same guy, Timmy Teepell.  That stuff is substantive.  We’re not going to be able to finesse it, all the rest of these is just the typical political fact that all things are possible.”

But Mary Landrieu wants to make sure she keeps her Senate seat.

John Fleming
John Fleming

“I think it’s clear that the Democrat Party of Louisiana is doing everything it can to put somebody with a Democrat behind their name for the benefit of Mary Landrieu,” Fleming said.  ”They’re going to try to want to ramp up the get out the vote operation so I think that is a high priority for them.”

Fleming is confident he’s going to keep his seat.  Everything else, that we’ll all have to wait and watch.

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