BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal's former coastal protection adviser, Garret Graves, said Wednesday he is running for Congress this fall.
Graves, a Republican, will seek the vacant 6th District seat, which stretches from Pointe Coupee Parish down into Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes and contains most of the metropolitan Baton Rouge area.
"I'm all in," Graves said in a statement. "We have a tremendous opportunity as a nation and state. In Louisiana, there is an overwhelming sentiment that we need effective representation to change the direction of Congress."
The announcement comes less than two weeks after Graves left the Jindal administration. He enters a crowded field of contenders vying for the position in the Nov. 4 election, but he starts with a higher level of name recognition than many of them.
Nine other candidates, eight of them Republicans, have filed candidacy paperwork with the Federal Election Commission. Others say they are running and just haven't registered yet with the FEC, and still others say they are eyeing the race.
The seat is open because Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy is running for the U.S. Senate.
Graves, a Baton Rouge native, spent six years as chairman of the state's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and was heavily involved in the Jindal administration's reaction to the massive Gulf Coast oil spill in 2010.
He has experience in Congress, having worked for U.S. Sen. David Vitter, former U.S. Sen. John Breaux and former U.S. Rep. Billy Tauzin. He also was a chief legislative aide to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.