Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who long ago declared his intention to be Gov. Bobby Jindal’s successor, released a “Mr. Nice Guy” statement Tuesday on the heels of U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s announcement that he plans to run for governor:

Senator Vitter’s announcement was expected. It is my hope that the governor’s race will offer Louisianians the opportunity to compare and contrast the records of all the candidates, as well as the merits of their ideas to keep our state growing.

I am deeply humbled by the outpouring of support I’ve received from every corner of Louisiana. Our campaign will focus on detailing the promises I’ve kept to the people of Louisiana and my positive vision for our state moving forward.

To that end, we will continue to actively fundraise and share our message with folks across the state.

As political blogger and LSU professor Robert Mann points out here, if the mild-mannered and mainstream Dardenne can get into a Republican-only runoff with the decidedly more extreme Vitter, it might be anybody’s race.

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