May 5, 2011 1:04 PM by AP News
Democrat Caroline Fayard announced Thursday that she will run for secretary of state this fall, ending months of speculation about what she intends for her political future after being courted for a series of statewide races.
The New Orleans lawyer ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor last year, going from a political unknown to a statewide candidate within a matter of months. After losing the special election, Fayard was widely expected to seek another office, and her name has been attached to nearly every statewide elected post.
In her announcement, Fayard said she chose secretary of state because it "was the best fit." "I want to be in a position to be of genuine help to the people and small businesses of Louisiana. I want to make a difference," Fayard said in a statement. "We need new leaders with new ideas in Baton Rouge."
The secretary of state oversees the state's elections and archiving of state records, registration of business names and trademarks, incorporation of new businesses and operation of a dozen museums including the Old State Capitol.
Fayard will be running against Republican Secretary of State Tom Schedler, from St. Tammany Parish, who was appointed to the office several months ago after Jay Dardenne was elected lieutenant governor. Also running for the position is Republican state Rep. Walker Hines, of New Orleans.
Republicans have blasted Fayard for recent comments she made in a speech, in which she said, "I hate Republicans ... They are cruel and destructive. They eat their young."
Fayard said the comments were wildly distorted and said Republicans were trying to smear her. She said she chose her words carelessly and suggested the comments were meant about "Republican policies and campaign tactics."
Fayard's family has been involved with Democratic campaigns behind the scenes for years and has ties to party heavyweights. They count the Clintons among their friends and generously donate to Democratic candidates and causes. She and her family poured thousands of their own dollars into Fayard's bid for lieutenant governor.