Sen. Cassidy Weighs Running For Louisiana Governor US Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La (Chip Somodevilla /AFP via Getty Images)
By Brian Freeman | Wednesday, 30 March 2022 10:08 AM
Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy is considering running for governor in his state, Politico reported on Wednesday.
Cassidy said throwing his hat in the ring is not his idea, but that he's "been approached to run for governor" by residents in the state.
"They've seen what I've done on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, see what I did on COVID relief," the Republican said. "They obviously see I'm trying to do good things for the state. And they like it."
Cassidy said he'll decide by the end of the year on whether to run, but doing so makes sense since the governor's race in 2023 offers a low-risk campaign that wouldn't cost him or his party his Senate seat.
In addition, Cassidy's breed of GOP centrism may help Republicans win in a conservative state that's lost two straight winnable elections against conservative Democrat John Bel Edwards, who is not allowed to run again due to term limits.
Examples of Cassidy not always toeing the party line include his direct negotiations with President Joe Biden on infrastructure and voting for former President Donald Trump's impeachment following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to Politico.
Cassidy insisted that impeachment is a "mixed bag" for him in the state, not a disqualifier, saying it's likely to be overshadowed by the rest of his record and that a voter may want "somebody that can help run the state, provide some vision."
Cassidy said that "there's obviously going to be some people who carry [hard feelings about the impeachment vote], but there's some people who applaud it."
He added that "I suspect there are some people who say, 'Well, you know, maybe I don't care about the vote, but I certainly like the fact that we're going to have universal access to affordable high speed internet' because of what I worked on."
If Cassidy did win the governor's seat next year, he would shake up the Senate, because he has become a vital member of its centrist coalition by focusing mostly on pandemic aid and infrastructure.
Maine Sen. Angus King, and Independent who is one of 13 former governors in the upper chamber, said "Bill Cassidy's a guy who obviously likes getting things done. Governor is where you have a lot more opportunity to set the agenda, to actually see things accomplished."
However, a poll reported in The Advocate over the weekend, showed a worrisome sign for Cassidy, as only 38% of voters view him favorably, while 49% view him unfavorably. He has a negative rating not only with Democrats, but with Independents and Republicans as well.
By contrast, he state's other senator, John Kennedy, also a Republican, has a 53% favorably rating, while only 38% view him unfavorably.