BATON ROUGE, La. – With Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards unable to run for a third term, four Republicans have entered the 2023 race to replace the sitting Democrat.
Earlier this week, Louisiana State Rep. Richard Nelson announced his candidacy. Nelson, was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2019. As a legislator, Nelson is known for his efforts to eliminate the state’s income tax and to prioritizing local communities over the capital city for tax-funded projects. Prior to his election as a state rep, Nelson worked for seven years as a State Department Officer and diplomat, protecting American embassies overseas from terrorism and espionage. Below is Nelson’s statement on joining the 2023 Louisiana Gubernatorial race:
I have always been a servant, whether as a State Department Officer serving my country overseas, as an Eagle Scout, or as part of my church. I have always looked at the world and seen not what is, but what could be. In 2012, I was in Afghanistan when I first read George Washington’s Farewell Address, a moving reflection on the life he dedicated to his country and the challenges he saw ahead. I recognized then the dire need for principled statesmen to lead the state and the country. I promised my wife and God that when I got back to Louisiana, I would do my best to follow Washington’s example.
“Louisiana has so many advantages. We benefit from abundant oil and gas, timber, and seafood. The Louisiana stretch of the Mississippi River is a critical link in the country’s transportation of goods. The Mississippi and our energy resources support a vast chemical sector. Louisiana’s culture, fantastic food, and inviting people attract tourists from all over the world. However, instead of using these strengths to propel a diverse and thriving economy, we rely on them to prop up ineffective and inefficient government policies.
The challenges are everywhere: parents need better jobs, children need quality education, businesses need competitive taxes, and everyone needs better roads and bridges. The solutions, too, are everywhere. In areas where Louisiana comes up short, we should look to other states for successful policies. Innovative actions and policies, like fixing our broken tax system and improving K-12 education, will increase the quality of life and opportunity for our citizens.
I believe we have a golden opportunity to fundamentally change Louisiana into a diverse economy and ample opportunity for every citizen. I want parents in Houston and New York to be telling their friends that their kid just got a job in Louisiana, not the other way around. Many believe this is not possible because special interests control the votes in Baton Rouge. I understand the issues and how to fix them. That is why I will not just serve, but lead. Our forefathers once pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to achieve what seemed like an impossible dream. I am willing to do the same. I need your support.”
Other Republican candidates for Louisiana governor include State Treasurer John Schroder and state Sen. Sharon Hewitt, and the state’s attorney general, Jeff Landry, who is expected to draw some of the biggest fundraising support.
About the author
New South Politics was founded by Matt O'Hern. Since 2004, O’Hern has worked with political campaigns in roles ranging from nationwide digital marketing for Presidential campaigns to door-to-door canvassing at the local level. O’Hern’s journalism experience includes political news reporting and editing for various organizations and news publications in Florida since 2005. O’Hern graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, AL with a degree in journalism and a minor in political science.
New South Politics was created to inform and update voters in southern states on both sides of the aisle about the latest developments surrounding the top political issues surrounding the 2022 Midterm Election and the 2024 Presidential Election. Visit our sister site: 2024Field.com for more analysis on potential candidates.