While the official filing deadline is still more than four months away, the shape of the open 2023 Louisiana governor’s race has come into focus in the past few weeks. Democrats have quickly solidified behind their favored candidate, former Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson. And after toying with a bid for months, Rep. Garret Graves decided to stay in Congress. Instead, lobbyist Stephen Waguespack was a surprise entrant, aiming to challenge Attorney General Jeff Landry’s frontrunner status.

Wilson’s announcement on March 6 was a clear signal that the Democratic establishment in the Pelican State is behind him — most notably term-limited (and still very popular) Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. Without another major Democrat getting in the race, this increases the likelihood that Wilson can claim a spot in a probable November 18 runoff.

Naturally, Wilson wants to emulate the cross-party appeal and coalition that Edwards has twice been able to put together in the state. Plus, given that Wilson is an African-American candidate, Democrats hope he could build on Edwards's success in consolidating the Black vote for his

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