Sen. Gerald Long of Natchitoches is listed among several potential candidates who may seek to run for Secretary of State in 2019. This information comes in the wake of Tom Schedler’s announcement March 14 that he won’t run for re-election following a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him last month.
The NPJ spoke to Long this morning, March 16, to talk about next year’s election and the opportunity it presents.
“The public is looking for someone they can trust to be a person of integrity,” said Long, who is doing his homework before he makes the major decision of whether or not he will officially announce his candidacy later this year. Long plans to begin traveling throughout the state to meet with people.
“With all these sexual allegations being brought up, we need to elect men and women whose compass is a moral one,” said Long. “We need officials who can manage their office and personal life well. I try to live this. Faith has always been a big part of my life.”
Long said only 23 percent of the vote in Louisiana is from Alexandria, North. It’s hard to recall anyone from North Louisiana that’s been elected statewide in the last 20 years. It’s difficult to analyze the race without an understanding that a candidate needs to be well known throughout the state. It’s also important to Long to know there’s a base of support in North Louisiana as he considers the opportunity and faces the challenge of the money it would cost to run for such a position.
Another challenge that comes with the Secretary of State position is that no one knows it exists unless they’re already involved in the government. However, it’s an extremely important part of the election process. People want to know elections are bing held fairly.
Long feels the Secretary of State position doesn’t define candidates as Democrat or Republican. It focuses on their ability to be fair to all when it comes to the responsibilities and duties of the office.
“My past is tied so much to my family and my late wife that this would be a new adventure for me,” he said. “It’s gratifying to see how many people are encouraging me and I’m taking a good look at it.”