Sen. David Vitter, R-La., spent this last year in the Senate campaigning against health care subsidies for government workers. Now, it appears his crusade against Obamacare is pegged to a race outside of the beltway.
Vitter announced Tuesday, he will seek the governor's mansion in Louisiana in 2015, the Associated Press reported.
"I believe that as our next governor, I can have a bigger impact addressing the unique challenges and opportunities we face in Louisiana," Vitter wrote in an email to supporters obtained by the AP.
Political pundits had predicted Vitter would take the leap, but the two-term senator had yet to make a formal announcement. Vitter does not face re-election in the Senate until 2016, meaning he can simultaneously serve as a sitting senator and launch a gubernatorial campaign. Were he to win he would then be responsible for appointing an interim successor. Louisiana law, however, dictates a special election must be held within a short period of time to fill the remainder of the term.
"This decision will in no way limit the work I am doing today in the U.S. Senate," Vitter said in an announcement video.
Vitter will seek the seat held by Gov. Bobby Jindal, a potential 2016 presidential contender who cannot seek re-election again. He is wading into a race that is already filling up fast. Vitter will go head-to-head against Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who has already announced his intention to run for governor. On the Democratic side, state Rep. John Bel Edwards has announced he is running as well.
In his campaign launch video, Vitter says his campaign will focus on how he can attract businesses to the Pelican State, end government corruption, and enhance educational opportunities in the state. Vitter promises constituents, however, that after his run for governor, he will not seek another political office.
"After listening and learning, I will lead," Vitter said. "This will be my last political job elected or appointed, period."
Despite being embroiled in a prostitution scandal in 2010, Vitter seems to have bounced back from the controversy. His approval rating remains steady at 43 percent. According to the Associated Press, a Vitter PAC has already raised roughly $1.5 million for his race.