Strain, Donelon to Farmers: We're Running in '19
By Greg Hilburn, USA TODAY Network
NEW ORLEANS — Just in case you were wondering, Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon do plan to run for re-election in 2019.
Both chose to make that clear here during the 95th Louisiana Farm Bureau Annual Convention, an event where politicians flock to court votes.
Even state Sen. Bret Allain, R-Franklin, spoke to the crowd just in case he decides to run for governor in 2019.
"I am running for re-election; I wanted to put it out there," Strain said while addressing a crowd of approving farmers.
"I hope to serve at least another six years — two more in this term and another in 2019," Donelon said.
Both are veteran politicians with three four-year statewide terms under their belts.
Strain also served two terms in the state House, while Donelon spent 19 years in the House.
"2019 is coming very soon," Strain said. "It'll be here before you know it."
Gov. John Bel Edwards previously told USA Today Network he believes his performance during a Farm Bureau Convention gubernatorial forum set the stage for his election in 2015.
The Farm Bureau Convention, Edwards said, has become a must stop on the campaign trail.
"They're so influential because there are farmers and Farm Bureau insurance agents in every corner of the state," Edwards said. "They also play a role on so many state boards and commissions, which elevates their influence even more."
Louisiana Farm Bureau President Ronnie Anderson, for example, is a member of the LSU Board of Supervisors.
"We're a pretty effective group because we have a grassroots network with a presence in every parish," Anderson said.
Clearly, Strain and Donelon understand the group's influence.
"I'm a Farm Bureau person," Strain said. "This is home for me."
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1