Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Louisiana treasurer’s race heads to runoff between Fleming, Granger

by BIZ Magazine

By Julie O’Donoghue, Louisiana Illuminator

The election for Louisiana treasurer is headed into a runoff Nov. 18 between Republican John Fleming and Democrat Dustin Granger.

With votes still being counted, the three-way primary Saturday had Fleming ahead of Granger  with 44% and 32% of the vote, respectively. Another GOP candidate, Scott McKnight of Baton Rouge, was knocked out of the race after coming in third.

Fleming, a physician from Minden, represented northwest Louisiana in Congress from 2009 to 2017. The most conservative candidate in the race, he was also a member of former President DonaldTrump’s administration, serving in three different jobs as the deputy assistant secretary for health information technology, assistant commerce secretary for economic development and a White House aide. 

As the only Democrat, Granger was essentially assured a spot in the runoff. A Lake Charles resident, he touted his professional experience as a financial planner as having prepared him to oversee the state’s funding and investments. 

Granger also said as treasurer he would try to be involved in finding solutions to the state’s property insurance crisis. Some of the remedies might involve the treasurer’s office for state financing, he said.

“We need more rules that prevent insurance companies from ‘picking and choosing’ who they cover,” he said.

McKnight spent far more money recently than Granger or Fleming. His campaign expenditures have topped $500,000 since the first week of September. By comparison, Fleming has spent a little less than $36,000 and Granger spent around $28,000 during that same time period.

Relatively early in the race, Fleming received a crucial endorsement from the Republican Party of Louisiana, though McKnight picked up the backing of outgoing Treasurer John Schroder heading into the primary election. Schroder opted to run for governor instead of re-election.

The Louisiana treasurer oversees billions of dollars of funds for the state government, though ultimately has little say over how the money is spent. The position is largely administrative, with the treasurer serving as chair of the Louisiana Bond Commission.

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