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Louisiana Treasurer John Schroder reportedly tells supporters he will run for governor in 2023

La. State Treasurer John Schroder briefs reporters on the Main Street Recovery Grant Program. July 7, 2020.
Paul Braun
La. State Treasurer John Schroder briefs reporters on the Main Street Recovery Grant Program. July 7, 2020.

Louisiana Treasurer John Schroder, a Republican, is running for governor in 2023 to replace the term-limited Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, according to an announcement Wednesday.

“Just to let you know that the Schroder family has met, and we will be entering the governor’s race. Timeline for announcement is not yet set, but I wanted to let you know,” Schroder wrote in a text message to supporters obtained by the USA Today Network’s Greg Hilburn.

Schroder has not commented publicly on whether he will mount a gubernatorial bid in 2023. In his first public appearance since news of his texts to supporters broke, Schroder delivered a speech to the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge touting his career as a public servant and entrepreneur.

“When I first got involved in politics, I used to say people were losing faith in this process,” Schroder said. “I’m one of those naive guys that believe we can fix it. My glass is half full.”

Schroder served in the Louisiana House of Representatives for nearly a decade. He was first elected to represent the 77th House District based on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain and developed a reputation in the state legislature as a fiscal conservative.

Schroder was elected state treasurer in a special election in 2017, and he easily won reelection in 2019.

Since taking office, Schroder has overhauled the state’s efforts to return Louisianans unclaimed property — money abandoned in dormant bank accounts, forgotten security deposits or unredeemed gift cards. The state on average resolved 30,000 unclaimed property claims each year totaling $27 million dollars. Last year, his office resolved nearly 200,000 claims totaling $70 million.

In 2020, he oversaw the distribution of $275 million in coronavirus relief to small businesses through the Main Street Recovery Grants program created by the state legislature. Schroder said he was proud to have distributed the money in a matter of months while minimizing the number of fraudulent claimants who received grants.

Approximately $4 million, 1.3% of the total allocated to the program, was paid to individuals who lied on their applications. Schroder said his office has recouped $400,000 of that amount.

“I like solving tough problems,” Schroder said. “I like communicating. I like bringing people together no matter how long it takes. I just believe if people are sincere about fixing things and can come to the table until it gets fixed, then we can move forward.”

State law prohibits Gov. John Bel Edwards, a two-term Democrat, from running for reelection in 2023, and many of the state’s top elected officials have positioned themselves to run to replace him in the governor’s mansion.

Attorney General Jeff Landry and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, also Republicans, have indicated that they will also join the 2023 gubernatorial race, but neither has officially announced their candidacy.

State Democrats haven't yet declared they are running or even hinted at eyeing the seat to replace Edwards.

The qualifying period for the Oct. 14, 2023 gubernatorial primary opens Aug. 8, 2023.

Paul Braun was WRKF's Capitol Access reporter, from 2019 through 2023.