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Richard Nelson exits governor’s race, endorses Jeff Landry


Richard Nelson exits governor’s race, endorses Jeff Landry

Sep 20, 2023 | 11:33 am ET
By Piper Hutchinson
Richard Nelson exits governor’s race, endorses Jeff Landry
State Rep. Richard Nelson, R-Mandeville (Photo by Henrietta Wildsmith)

State Rep. Richard Nelson has bowed out of the race to be Louisiana’s next governor and has endorsed frontrunner Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Nelson, a Mandeville Republican who made eliminating the state income tax his signature issue, never broke 2% in polls, failing to gather momentum with voters and donors.

“I ran for governor to improve the lives of the people of Louisiana, and we have been fortunate to travel to every corner of the state spreading the gospel of good government,” Nelson said in a statement. “My heart will always be committed to Louisiana, and that is why I am happy to support Attorney General Jeff Landry to be our next Governor.”

Landry, the presumed frontrunner since he entered the race in October 2022, has focused much of his campaign on the so-called culture war issues that Nelson has frequently criticized.

By running for governor, Nelson opted out of running for another term in the legislature, where he was eligible to serve again. His campaign said in a statement released on social media that Nelson would pursue opportunities in the private sector.

While he was floated as a candidate to replace Stephen Waguespack, also a candidate for governor, as the president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, a powerful business lobbying group, Nelson confirmed to the Illuminator that Nelson did not get the job.

Senior Reporter Julie O’Donoghue contributed reporting to this article