RUSTON — Gov. John Bel Edwards signaled Thursday he would support fellow Democrat and Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell if Campbell decides to run in the U.S. Senate race.
“I know he is considering running, and I’m encouraging him to run,” Edwards told Gannett Louisiana. “He’s been a dedicated public servant, and I think he’d make a great senator.”
Edwards’ nod to Campbell came on the same day New Orleans attorney Caroline Fayard became the first Democrat to officially announce for the race.
When asked if Edwards’ encouragement equaled an endorsement, the governor said, “Well, an endorsement has to come after an official announcement that he is running.”
Campbell, D-Elm Grove, a longtime state senator before winning election on the Public Service Commission, said he will likely make a decision within two weeks.
“I’m honored that the governor shares the same kind of confidence in me that I have in him,” said Campbell, who campaigned for Edwards during the gubernatorial race. “I do think I have a record of serving the people of Louisiana without fear. I look forward to having the governor’s support if I decide to run.”
Meanwhile, Fayard launched her campaign via video Thursday.
“This election is about the future, not the past,” Fayard said in the video. “I’m not a career politician, and I’m not running for Senate because I want a better parking spot on Capitol Hill or because I’m a guy who thinks it’s his turn.”
Incumbent U.S. Sen. David Vitter, a Republican, has said he won’t seek re-election. Vitter lost to Edwards in the governor’s race.
Among the top Republicans in the field: U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany of Lafayette; U.S. Rep. John Fleming of Minden; state Treasurer John Kennedy; and retired Col. Rob Maness.