Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry Leads in Early Fundraising Numbers for Gubernatorial Race
Jeff Landry, the current Attorney General of Louisiana, is leading the pack in the early stages of the upcoming gubernatorial race in the state, as evidenced by his impressive fundraising numbers. In the latest campaign finance report, which was due on Wednesday, Landry reported having more than $5 million in cash on hand at the end of 2022, having raised a total of $2.6 million in the previous year.
But that's not all - Cajun PAC II, a group that has been actively raising money for Landry's campaign (although they cannot coordinate their efforts with his official campaign), also reported having $1.5 million on hand. When combined with Landry's funds, the total amount available to the Republican candidate was an impressive $6.6 million, which was significantly more than what his opponents had available combined.
Treasurer John Schroder, also a Republican, raised $487,000 in 2022 and had $2.4 million on hand. State Senator Sharon Hewitt, who represents Slidell, raised $283,000 in 2022, loaned her campaign another $200,000, and had $617,000 on hand after campaign expenditures. State Representative Richard Nelson of Mandeville raised $94,000 in 2022 and had $197,000 on hand.
Hunter Lundy, an independent trial lawyer and Christian minister, raised $600,000 and loaned his campaign $1.4 million, giving him a total of $1.65 million on hand.
Apart from individual candidates' funds, the Louisiana Republican Party also has $530,000 on hand as of Jan. 31, 2023, which can be spent to endorse and support Landry, as they did late last year.
The early fundraising numbers in any election season are considered an important indicator of a candidate's strength and ability to run a successful campaign. The ability to show financial support allows candidates to gain more contributions and buy advertisements to get their message across to voters.
While early fundraising numbers are important, outside groups can appear suddenly in a campaign to sway the election, often through negative ads targeting one candidate. These groups can raise unlimited funds, which can significantly change the trajectory of a race.
In the Lieutenant Governor's race, Billy Nungesser reported having slightly more than $1 million in fundraising in 2022 and loaned himself an additional $1 million. He had $3.3 million on hand for his re-election bid. Meanwhile, in the Attorney General's race, Liz Murrill raised $710,000 in 2022 and had $896,000 on hand. John Stefanski, a Republican State Representative from Crowley, raised $388,000 in 2022, loaned his campaign another $25,000, and had $512,000 on hand.
John Belton, an independent district attorney for Lincoln and Union parishes, raised $421,000 in 2022 and had $452,000 on hand. Marty Maley, a Republican attorney in West Baton Rouge Parish, loaned himself $54,000 and raised another $13,000, ending the year with $14,000 on hand.
In the Insurance Commissioner's race, Jim Donelon raised $219,000 in 2022 and had $524,000 on hand. Businessman Tim Temple is challenging Donelon again, having raised $176,000, written his campaign a $750,000 check last year, and ended the year with slightly more than $1 million on hand.
In the race for Secretary of State, incumbent Kyle Ardoin raised $244,000 in 2022, and had $312,000 on hand at the end of the year. He is being challenged by businessman Brandon Trosclair, who raised $10,000 in 2022 and loaned his campaign $21,000, with $21,000 on hand.
Meanwhile, in the race for State Treasurer, state Rep. Scott McKnight of Baton Rouge raised $318,000 in 2022 and had $307,000 on hand. Former U.S. Rep. John Fleming, who represented North Louisiana, said he is planning to run but has not yet announced.
Agriculture Secretary Mike Strain, who is not yet facing a major challenger, raised $223,000 in 2022 and had $600,000 on hand.
With Louisiana's governor's race being one of the most high-profile statewide races in the upcoming election cycle, Jeff Landry's strong fundraising performance is certainly noteworthy. However, as the article points out, the picture may not be complete yet, as outside groups can still have a significant impact on the race through ad spending.
Still, the ability to raise significant funds early on in a campaign is crucial in American politics, as it allows candidates to fund their campaigns and get their message out to voters. For now, Landry's significant financial advantage puts him in a strong position in the early stages of the race, but with several other Republican candidates still in the running, the race is far from over.