Editor’s note: This story previously said Nancy Landry prefers paper ballots. Her stance supporting voting machines and paper ballots has been corrected. We apologize for the error.
BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Qualifying started Tuesday, Aug. 8 for the candidates planning to run for upcoming state elections.
The qualifying period for candidates is 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Aug. 8-10. Local and municipal candidates qualify with the clerk of court in the parish they are registered for. Federal and state candidates qualify at the Louisiana State Archives.
As of Aug. 8, Attorney General Jeff Landry, businessman Stephen Waguespack, former Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn Wilson, State Treasurer John Schroder, State Rep. Richard Nelson, State Sen. Sharon Hewitt and Hunter Lundy have all announced they are running for governor.
Meet the candidates for Louisiana governor
Hunter Lundy was the first candidate who qualified in the race to be Louisiana’s next governor Tuesday, Aug. 8.
“I’m not married to a party at all, I’m married to the state of Louisiana,” said Lundy.
He is a Lake Charles attorney who ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 as a Democrat and lost to Congressman Chris John in the runoff election.
Shawn D. Wilson, who is the former head of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, qualified to run for governor Tuesday, Aug. 8.
He has been endorsed by the Louisiana Democratic Party and Gov. John Bel Edwards.
“As a candidate for governor, I am driven by the belief that we can bridge divides and find common ground to create better, and smarter and safer Louisiana for all. In this time of extreme polarization, I am committed, personally and professionally, to bringing people together regardless of their political affiliations or beliefs,” Wilson said after qualifying.
Treasurer John Schroder qualified to run for governor Tuesday, Aug. 8.
“We must address our ever growing crime problem, improve our education outcomes and end our state’s reputation of corruption and cronyism,” said Schroder.
Oscar “Omar” Dantzler Jr., Democrat
Oscar “Omar” Dantzler Jr., who qualified Tuesday, Aug 8, said, as governor, he would want to make the state safer and move in a better direction in general in education and crime.
“Louisiana is a good state and I want to make it a better state, not only a better state but a safer state so many people come and reside in the state of Louisiana,” he said.
Patrick Henry “Dat” Barthel, Republican
Patrick Barthel qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8. BRProud reporter Sydney Simone posted, “Now 20 years later, he reassures he’s not for either party. He plans to bring Disney World to the state and increase jobs.”
Barthel said, “I’m looking to make some big changes, real changes.”
Xavier Ellis, Republican
Xavier Ellis qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
“Xan” John, Republican
Xan John qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
Sharon Hewitt qualified Wednesday, Aug. 9. BRProud Assistant News Director Fred Childers posted that Hewitt “took shots her opponent Jeff Landry, saying he damaged the oil and gas industry in the state.”
“I’m running for governor for one simple reason, to give families a reason to stay in Louisiana instead of a reason to leave,” said Hewitt.
Jeffery Istre, Independent
Jeffrey Istre qualified Wednesday, Aug. 9.
When asked what one thing motivated him to run for governor, Istre said, “The main thing that motivated me is, I’ve seen decades of neglect, term after term, legislators ignoring the middle class and low income families.”
BRProud Assistant News Director Fred Childers reported that Landry said nobody in the race is as qualified as he is to deal with crime.
Benjamin Barnes, Independent
Benjamin Barnes qualified Wednesday, Aug. 9.
Frank Scurlock, Independent
Frank Scurlock qualified Wednesday, Aug. 9.
He is an entrepreneur who previously ran for mayor of New Orleans, according to Ballotpedia.
“I look at the field of who’s signed up as of this moment and I recognize, they certainly have a lot of name recognition,” he said. “They do. They have a lot of power. I watched an entourage come through this very building. They didn’t go through the front, they went through the side. You see, I’m just like you. I’m an average citizen.”
Stephen “Wags” Waguespack, Republican
Stephen Waguespack qualified on Thursday, August 10.
Waguespack said, “We ran for one simple reason, Louisiana is at a crossroads right now.” Waguespack spoke about job creation, early education and crime.
State Rep. Richard Nelson (R- Mandeville) qualified on Thursday, August 10.
Assistant News Director Fred Childers reported that Nelson said Louisiana has lagged behind other states since 1910 and part of fixing the issue includes eliminating the state income tax.
Daniel M. “Danny” Cole, Democrat
Daniel Cole qualified Thursday, Aug. 10.
“Keitron” Gagnon, No Party
Keitron Gagnon qualified Thursday, Aug. 10.
Meet the candidates for lieutenant governor
“Tami” Hotard, Republican
Tami Hotard qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8. BRProud reporter Sydney Simone posted that Hotard wants to improve construction and encourage people to retire in-state and encourage tourism through improved construction.
William “Billy” Nungesser, Republican
Serving as the current lt. governor, Billy Nungesser qualified to run for reelection Tuesday, Aug. 8.
He said tourism has grown in the last seven years, adding that when he took office he was told that multiple state parks would have to close but now some are making a profit for the first time.
Nungesser said he loves his job and gives 110%.
Chester Pritchett, No Party
Chester Pritchett qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
Elbert Guillory, Republican
Elbert Guillory qualified Wednesday, Aug. 9.
“Our streets are overrun with crime, our children are not getting a decent education, we can’t be satisfied with what we have,” said Guillory.
Willie Jones, Democrat
Willie Jones qualified Thursday, Aug. 10.
Bruce Payton, Independent
Bruce Payton qualified Thursday, Aug. 10.
Gary Rispone, No Party
Gary Rispone qualified Thursday, Aug. 10.
Meet the candidates for Secretary of State
Nancy Landry, Republican
Nancy Landry, a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and first assistant secretary of state, qualified to run for Secretary of State Tuesday, Aug. 8. She likes paper ballots for a paper trail and still wants to use machines for elections.
“The next Secretary of State will have to immediately begin making critical decisions about the 2024 presidential election, election, election integrity legislation and crucially, the next voting system in Louisiana,” said Landry.
Clay Schexnayder, Republican
Clay Schexnayder qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8 to run for secretary of state. BRProud reporter Sydney Simone posted, “His focus is addressing the ongoing cybersecurity issues and creating a more user-friendly GeauxBiz website for small businesses.”
He said, “I wanted to continue my public service and running for Secretary of State is something that I think we can advance on.”
Brandon Trosclair, Republican
Brandon Trosclair qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8. BRProud reporter Sydney Simone posted, “He believes hand-marked paper ballots are the best way to ensure a secure certified election. He said outdated machines can be easily hacked and manipulated.”
“Gwen” Collins-Greenup, Democrat
Gwen Collins-Greenup, an attorney who qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8, said she wants to focus on shoring up Louisiana’s business sector and improve various aspects of the state’s voting process.
“I believe we need to have a secure measure for our election systems. I am currently a proponent of getting voting machines that have an auditable paper trail and that would be helpful in having post-election audits as well as providing a paper copy of how we vote that way we can ensure that every vote that was cast is the vote that was counted,” said Collins-Greenup after qualifying.
Mike Francis, Republican
Mike Francis qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8. He serves as the District 4 Commissioner for the Louisiana Public Service Commission. BRProud reporter Sydney Simone reported that Francis wants to uphold a safe elections system so the public knows their vote will be counted and that he is also against paper ballots.
“I’ve talked to several supporters in the registrar and they told me they do not want paper ballots,” said Francis.
Thomas J. Kennedy III, Republican
Thomas Kennedy qualified Wednesday, Aug. 9.
He said, “Many Louisianans and Americans have lost faith in our election process, however, I can assure you that the Louisiana elections are safe and secure.”
Amanda “Smith” Jennings, Other
Amanda Jennings qualified Thursday, Aug. 10.
Arthur A. Morrell, Democrat
Arthur Morrell qualified Thursday, Aug. 10.
Meet the candidates for attorney general
John Stefanski, Republican
John Stefanski qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8. He said feels like he has the right background, intelligence and work ethic to run for attorney general. He’s served in the state legislature and led the state’s redistricting efforts.
“My goal for the office is, first and foremost, is to fill it with the best and brightest in this state. Secondly, to continue to do all of the good work that we’ve done over the years of prior attorney generals, then really beef up the criminal division,” he said.
Perry Walker Terrebonne, Democrat
Perry Walker qualified on Tuesday, Aug. 8.
“Marty” Maley, Republican
Marty Maley qualified Wednesday, Aug. 9.
“If you want to know what kind of AG I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be one that has an open door to every citizen. Every citizen is going to know and believe they have an opportunity to bring their problems to my office,” he said.
“Liz” Baker Murrill, Republican
Liz Murrill qualified Wednesday, Aug. 9.
She is the state’s first solicitor general, serving in the role for the last seven years, and was recently endorsed by the Louisiana Republican Party.
“We’re now 67 days away from an election and I made a pledge to support and defend families, faith and freedom in our state and for our state and defend our state and that’s I’ve done as solicitor general and that’s what I’ll do as your attorney general,” she said.
Lindsey Cheek, Democrat
Lindsey Cheek qualified Wednesday, Aug. 9.
She said an attorney general should be a lawyer for the people of Louisiana, filing lawsuits that will improve residents’ lives not “filing frivolous lawsuits that cost the state money.”
Meet the candidates for treasurer
John Fleming, Republican
John Fleming, a former congressman, qualified to run for Louisiana treasurer Tuesday, Aug. 8. He was endorsed by the Louisiana GOP.
Dustin Granger, Democrat
Dustin Granger qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8. He said he wants to embrace technologies and invest in the state through renewable infrastructure projects to bring in high-paying jobs. According to his website, he wants to life the ban on investing state funds with companies that embody Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance standards.
“What I see in Louisiana is a state that has lost its way. We are in a values crisis right now in Louisiana where we put private interests, a few wealthy individuals and big corporations ahead of people,” he said at the podium after qualifying.
Scott McKnight, Republican
Scott McKnight, a Baton Rouge native, qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8. He said he believes he is the best person for the position, according to his website, because of his business and political experience.
Meet the candidates for commissioner of agriculture and forestry
Michael G. “Mike” Strain, Republican
Commissioner Mike Strain is running for reelection after qualifying Tuesday, Aug. 8. He’s held the office since 2008.
Meet the candidates for insurance commissioner
“Tim” Temple, Republican
Tim Temple qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8 to run for insurance commissioner. He said he will change regulations to attract more insurance companies to the state to drive down costs.
“Insurance is complex and I think it’s important now more than ever that your next Commission of Insurance be from the industry,” said Temple.
R.D. “Rich” Weaver, Democrat
R.D. “Rich” Weaver qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
He said he has a plan to being insurance companies to Louisiana. Weaver did not immediately provide details about that plan.
Meet the candidates for BESE
BESE District 1
Paul Hollis, Republican
Paul Hollis qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
Lauren Jewett, Democrat
Lauren Jewett qualified Wednesday, Aug. 9.
BESE District 2
Sharon Latten Clark, Democrat
Sharon Latten-Clark qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
She pledged “to make sure that every child learns every day and in every way” to voters.
Eric J. Jones, Democrat
Eric J. Jones qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
He said, “I strongly believe that I’m the best-qualified candidate.”
BESE District 3
“Sandy” LeBlanc Holloway, Republican
Sandy Holloway qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
BESE District 4
Stacey Melerine, Republican
Stacey Melerine qualified Wednesday, Aug. 9.
Paige Hoffpauir, Republican
Paige Hoffpauir qualified Thursday, Aug. 10.
Emma Shepard, Democrat
Emma Shepard qualified Thursday, Aug. 10.
BESE District 5
Lance Harris, Republican
Lance Harris qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
He wants to keep parents aware of what their students are doing and wants to retain the teachers that Louisiana has and recruit more.
“Our parents are important and the students are what it’s all about. When you get parents involved, it enhances the student’s success rate,” said Harris.
“Toby” Brazzel, Republican
Toby Brazzel qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
BESE District 6
“Ronnie” Morris, Republican
Ronnie Morrie qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
Jodi Rollins, Republican
Jodi Rollins qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
She said at the podium, “My mission would be if I’m elected to BESE, real questions, real answers, real accountability and oversight, real monitoring and real results.”
BESE District 7
Erick Knezek, Republican
Erick Knezek qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8. He said he wants to take his experience to the state level.
“One of the things I want to see BESE do is lead from the front, establish expectations but also providing support to those school systems,” he said after qualifying.
Cathy S. Banks, Republican
Cathy Banks qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
Kevin M. Berken, Republican
Kevin Berken qualified Thursday, Aug. 10.
BESE District 8
Preston Castille, Democrat
Preston Castille qualified Tuesday, Aug. 8.
He said, “It’s been an honor to serve the people of Louisiana. It’s been more importantly an honor to serve the children of this great state.”
The Gubernatorial General Election is Saturday, Nov. 18 and includes the governor’s race.
Dolores “DeeDee” Cormier-Zenon, Democrat
Dolores Cormier-Zenon qualified on Thursday, Aug. 10.
Cormier-Zenon said, “I support authentic teaching and learning.” She said that “teachers are concerned about teaching to the test, they’re concerned about teaching students to be prepared in numbers and scores.”