David Vitter lost the 2015 governor’s race, after being favored to win, and then didn’t run for reelection to the U.S. Senate in 2016.
But he remains present in Louisiana politics.
Vitter, who served 12 years in the Senate, six in the U.S. House and seven in the state House, is serving as a member of the Council on Infrastructure, Ports, and Rail, which is one of Gov.-elect Jeff Landry’s transition committees.
Part of Mercury Public Affairs, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm, Vitter represents the Port of Plaquemines Parish and also the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East on its issues in Washington.
A Rhodes scholar from New Orleans, Vitter has a deep knowledge of how state and local governments can obtain their share of federal funds for infrastructure projects.
He did not respond to a request for comment.
Vitter’s former top aides have also remained active in state politics.
Kyle Ruckert, who was his chief of staff and managed the 2015 gubernatorial campaign, serves as executive director of Landry’s transition. Ruckert is widely expected by political insiders to become Landry’s chief of staff after the new governor takes office on Jan. 8.
Ruckert has given up his various lobbying clients in Louisiana. He represented the flood authority with Vitter, but his wife Lynnel Ruckert is taking over that role.
During the 2023 governor’s race, Ruckert played a pivotal role for Landry by overseeing the campaign by the Louisiana Republican Party to raise an unlimited amount of money from rich donors and then coordinate how to spend that money with Landry.
The chief fundraiser for Landry’s campaign was Courtney Guastella, who held a similar role for Vitter.