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Dardenne Dynasty

Louisiana's next U.S. senator?

8:04 AM, Mar 8, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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But going up against one of Louisiana’s most powerful Republicans may not be that attractive to Dardenne, who’s used to winning elections. That’s likely another reason he’s looking at next year’s Senate race against Mary Landrieu with newfound interest. Among his other potential primary opponents are several of Louisiana’s House members including John Fleming and Bill Cassidy, who represents the district around Dardenne’s own Baton Rouge. But if Dardenne can make it to a runoff against Landrieu, there’s reason to believe he could knock off the senior red-state Democrat. The depopulation of New Orleans, the Democratic epicenter in Louisiana, makes winning statewide as a Democrat harder than ever. And without Barack Obama on the ballot, as he was in 2008, Landrieu won’t necessarily have a turnout advantage in a runoff.

“If he were to get into the [Senate] race, he would instantly be the frontrunner,” says Wilson.

A Landrieu challenge could be a plum opportunity for Dardenne—if that’s what he wants.

“I love being in Louisiana,” he says. “I love the job I have right now promoting the state and creating jobs within an industry that has really been a job creator for the state because Louisiana is such an interesting and fascinating state.”

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