Jindal: ‘No interest’ in Senate race

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Monday that he has no plans to run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu next year, despite frequent speculation about his interest.

The Republican governor flatly rejected the idea that he wanted to return to Congress, saying when asked by The Associated Press about the race, “Absolutely not, emphatically no.”

He went on to repeat his disinterest several more times, seeking to squelch a rumor that just seems unable to disappear in Louisiana’s political circles.

“There is no caveat, no wiggle room. I’m not trying to give myself any outs. I have absolutely no interest in running for the United States Senate. I’m not a candidate for the United States Senate. I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate. You can film that. You can write that down. Absolutely not,” he said, after speaking at an economic development event.

Landrieu is in her third term and is considered vulnerable because she is a Democrat in a state that tends to vote Republican in national elections. However, polls earlier this year showed Jindal’s once-formidable job performance rating had fallen below 50 percent just over a year after he was re-elected.

She already has attracted two potential Republican challengers: U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, a Baton Rouge doctor elected to Congress in 2008, and Rob Maness, a retired Air Force colonel and tea party supporter from Madisonville.

Establishment Republicans appear to be aligning behind Cassidy. Jindal seems to be eyeing other opportunities, including a potential 2016 presidential bid.

The Senate election will be held in November 2014.

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