BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's U.S. Senate race has its first Democratic contender.
New Orleans lawyer Caroline Fayard, who has never held elected office, announced her campaign Thursday, saying she represents a "new generation of leadership."
"Politicians in Washington and Baton Rouge are fighting over things that just don't matter while Louisianians are struggling to get ahead, build for the future and keep their families safe," the 37-year-old candidate said in a nearly three-minute announcement video.
Fayard ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2010, and has been eyeing another political race since that loss. She's describing herself as an anti-abortion, pro-business Democrat.
In her video, Fayard focused on her rural roots and lack of a political background.
"I'm not a career politician, nor a perfect person. I'm not running for Senate because I want a better parking spot on Capitol Hill or I'm a guy who thinks it's his turn," she said.
She added: "It's time we got our eye back on the ball about the true purpose of government, namely to protect the safety and security of this country and its citizens."
Four Republicans have announced plans to compete for the seat on the November ballot: U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, U.S. Rep. John Fleming, Treasurer John Kennedy and retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness.
GOP incumbent Sen. David Vitter, who lost a bid for the Louisiana governor's race last November, decided not to run for re-election to the Senate.
Fayard comes from a family of trial lawyers who have been involved with Democratic campaigns behind the scenes for years and have ties to party heavyweights. They count former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton among their friends and generously donate to Democratic candidates and causes. She and her family poured thousands of their own dollars into Fayard's bid for lieutenant governor.
After she lost that race to Republican Jay Dardenne, Fayard initially said she would run for secretary of state in 2011, but decided against it.
Republicans in recent years have been seen as having a lock on statewide races in conservative Louisiana, but Democrats hope the recent election of one of their own, John Bel Edwards, as governor has offered a path for a Democratic candidate to have a chance to win a U.S. Senate seat as well.
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