BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Polls are showing Attorney General Jeff Landry is still holding the front spot in the run for Louisiana’s next governor. His numbers show the six other major candidates have a long road to catch up.
Landry has made crime the crux of his campaign. Should he be elected, Landry wants to take immediate steps in his first days in office to try and address the issue.
“I think the first thing we’re going to do is go into a crime session, a special session on crime,” Landry said.
While he wouldn’t list some of his specific plans for the session, he said he would be focused on transparency and truth in sentencing.
He also plans to restart executions of death row inmates, as nearly all are applying for clemency right now. He points to states surrounding Louisiana that regularly execute people sentenced to death.
“The only thing that is standing in the way of those executions is the governor,” Landry said.
Another special session on his horizon would be for insurance. He’s working with the insurance commissioner-elect to potentially call a session to tackle skyrocketing premiums. Landry recently filed a lawsuit against FEMA to halt the new flood insurance rates under Risk Rating 2.0.
“We’ve got two crises that people haven’t realized yet. But even if you lower the overall property insurance and then the flood insurance escalates,” Landry said. “Well, how much good have you done?”
At the state legislature, when it comes to funding education, Landry said “everything is on the table” but did not want to make promises yet of future teacher pay raises. He wants to leave options open on what is the best way to help raise Louisiana off the bottom of education rankings.
“Should the focus be on teacher pay? I’m not saying teachers don’t deserve pay. They should be compensated adequately…What in a teacher’s pay raise is going to guarantee me that those children are receiving an education, that all third graders are leaving third grade being able to read,” Landry said.
On social issues, Landry would be open to legislation prohibiting discussions around sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom. He went on to say the discussion of gender identity is “problematic.”
“I don’t know how you could reach a consensus on things that are that because you’re trying to make a truth, an untruth,” Landry said.
He also advocated for the new law that would put restrictions on what books children can access in public libraries – a move some believe targets the LGBTQ community by labeling books with those themes as sexually explicit.
On abortion, Landry is in favor of the current law but he is open to hearing debates on adding exceptions for rape and incest to the state’s ban.
“Look, I’m open to having that discussion. I think it’s going to be a discussion that’s going to be had in the legislature,” Landry said. “I would tell you that I want to listen to what those discussions are and exactly how that plays out.”
Landry has gained his frontrunner status through an early endorsement from the LAGOP, making national headlines suing the federal government, and getting a coveted endorsement for some conservatives from former President Donald Trump.
“If you’re looking for someone to bring some structural change, things that other states have done that have allowed them to now beat us out, allow them to capture our children, then guess what? I would tell them to vote for me,” Landry said.
The primary is on Oct. 14. The general election will be on Nov. 18.