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Katie Bernhardt, Louisiana Democratic Party chairperson, in Shreveport, La., on March 1, 2021.
Katie Bernhardt, Louisiana Democratic Party chairperson, in Shreveport, La., on March 1, 2021.Henrietta Wildsmith / Shreveport Times/The Times via USA TODAY Network

La. Dem Party Chair stars in new ad, tells NBC she’s ‘not currently running’ for governor

New spot doesn't mention any candidates but otherwise has all the trappings of a campaign ad.


A new ad that hit Louisiana airwaves this week is stoking intrigue ahead of the competitive governor's race on the ballot there this fall, especially since the politician featured in the spot isn't a declared candidate for any race.

The new ad from Team Louisiana PAC, which ad-tracking firm AdImpact first caught running on the airwaves Monday, features state Democratic Party chair Katie Bernhardt in a role usually reserved for candidates.

Bernhardt never mentions any elected office specifically or any intention of running. But other than that, it has all the trappings of a campaign ad — Bernhardt saying that she's a "local business owner and someone ready to work hard for our children's future," and featuring her skeet shooting as she says the work toward the future includes "electing people with strong character and even stronger values, and a little bit of firepower."

The gubernatorial race will be top of the ticket in November, and Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is term-limited from running again. That gives Republicans an opportunity to take control of the top spot in a Republican-leaning state.

The other statewide offices are on the ballot too, including attorney general, which will be an open-seat race because incumbent Republican Jeff Landry is running for governor.

There's no major Democrat in the governor's race yet, but Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson launched an exploratory committee last year.

In an email to NBC News, Bernhardt said that she's "enjoyed working with Team Louisiana PAC to raise awareness about what we are looking for in candidates," and that she's "long since been encouraged to run for office but am not currently running."

She went on to praise the "strong potential candidates" and said she wants to make sure everyone is "united behind one candidate so we can keep Louisiana Blue."

Bernhardt did not respond to a follow-up question about whether she's actively considering a bid herself.