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Richard Nelson exits governor’s race, endorses Jeff Landry

Rep. Richard Nelson discussed his proposal to eliminate state income tax.
Molly Ryan
LSU Manship School News Service
In a file photo, State Rep. Richard Nelson discusses his proposal to eliminate state income tax at the Louisiana House of Representatives.

This story was first published by the Louisiana Illuminator.

State Rep. Richard Nelson has bowed out of the race to be Louisiana’s next governor and has endorsed frontrunner Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Nelson, a Mandeville Republican who made eliminating the state income tax his signature issue, never broke 2% in polls, failing to gather momentum with voters and donors.

“I ran for governor to improve the lives of the people of Louisiana, and we have been fortunate to travel to every corner of the state spreading the gospel of good government,” Nelson said in a statement. “My heart will always be committed to Louisiana, and that is why I am happy to support Attorney General Jeff Landry to be our next Governor.”

Landry, the presumed frontrunner since he entered the race in October 2022, has focused much of his campaign on the so-called culture war issues that Nelson has frequently criticized.

By running for governor, Nelson opted out of running for another term in the legislature, where he was eligible to serve again. His campaign said in a statement released on social media that Nelson would pursue opportunities in the private sector. As first reported by The Advocate, Nelson has put his name forward to become the next president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, a powerful business lobbying group formerly led by Stephen Waguespack, who is also in the race for governor.