Young, Nungesser set eyes on statewide office

Even though the election for Louisiana's next lieutenant governor is not until the fall of 2015, politicians are already jumping into the race.

The latest to announce his candidacy, Jefferson Parish President John Young, vows to grow the state's $10.8 billion tourism industry and its exploding film business.

"I've always been a regional player, and this gives an opportunity for us to work at the state level," Young said.

Under Louisiana law, the lieutenant governor also heads the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. Young could benefit from location as the leader of the state's largest parish and within its largest media market.

If that is an advantage, it's one Young shares with another hopeful whose name recognition in his case is larger than his parish.

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser has reaped loads of press, dealing with everything from multiple hurricanes to the 2010 oil spill.

"Hard work can produce results, and we need a team in Baton Rouge, working together to do the best they can for Louisiana," Nungesser said.

Both Nungesser and Young vow to work with the next Louisiana governor, who will also be elected next year.

In 2011, Nungesser tried and failed to unseat incumbent Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, who has announced his intention to run for Governor.

This time, Nungesser's latest campaign report reveals he has raised roughly $1.4 million, including $1 million out of his own pocket.

Young, who said he has $1.6 million on hand, believes it will take about $3 million to win the job.

Other hopefuls include Republican State Sen. Elbert Guillory, of Opelousas; and possibly Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden.

While Holden has hinted strongly he may run, he has not formally committed to the race.

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