Candidates for governor already fighting for votes
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Candidates in next year's governor's race have already begun making their pitch with 10 months to go. Most have already set up websites, and the lone Democrat is trying to gain name recognition in New Orleans.
"I do think we have a series of candidates who can raise millions of dollars each and have a base of voters already," said Tulane political analyst Mike Sherman.
Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Sen. David Vitter, and State Rep. John Bel Edwards of Amite are all trying to build voter support.
"The only two I'm familiar with are Dardenne and Vitter," said New Orleans voter Andy Mayeaux.
"You can pick the guy to beat based on two things - who has most funds, and name recognition. David Vitter has been elected statewide, has significant funds and statewide name recognition," said Sherman.
To become better known, Bel Edwards bought expensive billboards in New Orleans.
"Before you can share a message, you have to let them know who you are, and that starts with name recognition," said Sherman.
Also being mentioned as a possible fifth candidate is Angola prison warden Burl Cain, who has a Facebook page to get his message out.
"I think one of the biggest issues is Common Core, which i'm not real crazy about," said Mayeaux.
"They should be addressing the wetlands, education and public safety are the ones I can think of," said voter Jack Snyder.
So far, John Bel Edwards is the only Democrat in the race, and that could pose a challenge given the state's current political climate.
"This state is not electing Democrats to statewide office right now. In a runoff between Vitter and a Democrat, Vitter is the next governor," said GOP political strategist Jim Farwell.
With an open seat and 10 months to go, there could be some surprises.
"We are going to see a huge range of candidates, and we will separate them into tiers - who's able to raise funds, build a base of support and run an effective campaign," said Sherman.
The primary election is set for Oct. 24, 2015. The runoff, if needed, will be on Nov. 21.
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