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Shawn Wilson is the first Democrat to announce a bid for La. governor.
Then-Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn Wilson on March 28, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La.Melinda Deslatte / AP file

Shawn Wilson becomes first Democrat in La. governor's race

Shawn Wilson, the former state Secretary of Transportation, launched his campaign on Monday.


Shawn Wilson, a Democrat and former Louisiana Secretary of Transportation, is running for governor, he announced on Twitter.

"In Louisiana, we have more than our fair share of obstacles standing in the way between where we are today and the state we can be tomorrow," Wilson says in a video posted alongside his campaign announcement.

"The only way we can get to the other side is if we have leaders who build bridges, not burn them," he adds.

In the video, Wilson goes on to talk about his work at the Department of Transportation, highlighting investments in infrastructure, including bridges, that the department made with him at the helm.

"We got to work, bringing together local, state and federal leaders — Republicans, Democrats, and independents," Wilson says in the video.

Wilson added that he hopes to use his experience working with folks on both sides of the aisle and in all communities to invest in education, healthcare, public safety and the environment.

He is the first Democrat to announce a bid for governor ahead of the state's November gubernatorial election.

Wilson is running to replace Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is term limited and cannot run again. On the Republican side, four candidates have already launched their campaigns, including Treasurer John Schroder, Attorney General Jeff Landry, state Sen. Sharon Hewitt of Slidell and state Rep. Richard Nelson of Mandeville.

If he won in November, Wilson would be only the second Democrat elected statewide since 2007, behind Edwards. And, reminds, Wilson would also be the first Black person elected statewide since the Reconstruction era following the Civil War, nearly 150 years ago.