Meet the candidates for La. governor: Landry and Waguespack

Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 9:32 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It’s been nearly eight years since current Governor Jon Bel Edwards took office, and several people are looking to take that seat in this year’s election.

This week 7NEWS is profiling the top six candidates, Jeff Landry, Shawn Wilson, Stephen Waguespack, John Schroder, Hunter Lundy and Sharon Hewitt. Tonight we’re hearing from Waguespack and Landry, the leading Republicans.

Early voting for the Oct. 14 election is underway through Saturday, Oct. 7. For more election coverage, CLICK HERE.

Jeff Landry is the current attorney general and has been for eight years. Before that, he served a term in the United States House of Representatives.

“It’s been one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had,” Jeff Landry said. “In fact, in October of last year when we decided to run, it was a difficult decision, because I love my job. I love the job that we’ve done. When we made that announcement in October, I didn’t say I was running, I said that we were running.”

Stephen Waguespack served on the state Board of Education and was previously CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

“We need bold, conservative, responsible leadership by someone who knows how to make things work,” Stephen Waguespack said. “I spent some time inside of government, I spent most of my time outside of government. I’ve represented the business community. I’m an outsider, I’ve never ran for office before, but I want to go in, because I want to start driving solutions.”

Both candidates said crime is at the forefront of issues they want to focus on.

“We were the only statewide elected official in 2017 to say if we continue to tinker with our criminal justice system with the goal of letting people out of jail, rather than keeping people from going to jail, we would have a violent crime epidemic in the state,” Landry said. “Lo and behold, we have one today, so we are uniquely positioned to address crime.”

“We need cops that are backed and supported,” Waguespack said. “They need the support of their governor to know that they have their back, and they’ll get that from me. We need technology of the streets, that means body cams, license plate readers, street side cams to prove those cases.”

Landry tells 7News he would also work on improving education and the economy.

“It’s time to put parents back in charge, and it’s time to let teachers teach,” Landry said. “As a business owner and someone who has employed thousands of Louisianians, I know the struggles small businesses go through each and every day, and we want to focus on them.”

Waguespack said he’s focusing on a quality workforce and bringing people back to the state.

“Improving education with an eye toward workforce development for every child, that’s my top priority,” Waguespack said. “The other is, I want to lower taxes, get politics and bureaucracy out of people’s lives.”

We will hear from the other top candidates on 7NEWS Nightcast Tuesday and Wednesday.