Graves Balks at Run for Governor
Baton Rouge Republican U.S. Rep. Garret Graves did not announce his candidacy for governor at the Business Report's annual Power Breakfast event on Wednesday morning, as was speculated by many. Instead, he took the opportunity to address the audience and urge them to not support those who profit from creating division and to strive for unity.
During his speech, Graves stated, "We have got to stop this ridiculous trajectory that we're on today. Go out there, and let's be pulling in the same direction." He went on to express his concern about the current state of politics, where many individuals and groups profit from creating division and spreading misinformation. He urged attendees to not reward those who partake in such actions, and instead to work towards finding common ground and building a better future for all.
His speech comes amid rumors that he was considering running for governor and could have used the event as an opportunity to announce his candidacy. However, it seems that Graves has chosen to focus on the bigger picture and the need for unity rather than his own political aspirations.
Louis Gurvich, who chairs the state GOP, has urged Graves not to run for governor, with the hope of creating a clearer path for Attorney General Jeff Landry. However, several high-profile Republicans, including other candidates and Baton Rouge business leader Richard Lipsey, have criticized the party's early endorsement of Landry.
Graves seemed to acknowledge the rumors surrounding his potential candidacy by stating that he wouldn't be making an announcement and wishing luck to state Treasurer John Schroder, who is running and was in attendance at the event.
In addition to Graves' speech, Baton Rouge Area Foundation CEO Chris Meyer announced that the foundation plans to create new tools to help more people promote positive change in the region, regardless of how much money they have. Meyer stated, "We want to help everyone to see themselves as a philanthropist, as an agent that can do good." He went on to express concern about worrying signs on the horizon, such as the fact that less than 10% of local parents want their children to build a life in Baton Rouge. However, he noted that the silver lining is that the community is not satisfied with the status quo and is looking for leadership from the nonprofit and business sectors, not just government. Meyer concluded by saying, "It really does take all of us to create that kind of change."
Finally, LSU head baseball coach Jay Johnson shared his thoughts on the similarities between building a successful team in sports and in business. He talked about the importance of recruiting top talent, developing that talent, focusing on what's important at any given moment, and repeating productive habits. He emphasized the importance of discipline over motivation, stating "Motivation is not nearly as important as discipline."
Overall, the Business Report's annual Power Breakfast event was a thought-provoking and inspiring event that brought together leaders from different sectors to share their ideas and perspectives on how to move forward and build a better future for all.