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Acadiana state Rep. John Stefanski lays groundwork for attorney general's race in 2023

Greg Hilburn
Lafayette Daily Advertiser
State Rep. John Stefanski, R-Crowley

Republican Acadiana state Rep. John Stefanski said he will likely run for attorney general in 2023 if incumbent Jeff Landry runs for governor as expected.

Stefanski has already hired prominent fundraiser Sally Nungesser and consultant Lionel Rainey in anticipation of the race.

The Crowley lawmaker first won his seat in the House in a 2017 special election and said he believes he can make an even bigger impact in a higher office.

"It goes back to why I ran in the first place; a calling to serve," said Stefanski, 36, an attorney. "I enjoy my job in the House, but if there's an opportunity for me to effectuate even more positive change, I want to be in a position to do it."

Stefanski has practiced law with his father, Michael Stefanski, for 10 years and said he has a diverse legal background in both criminal and civil law.

"I've done just about everything, and I think it has given me a valuable wider perspective about the law and its impact," Stefanski said.

Fellow House Republicans Blake Miguez of Erath and Alan Seabaugh of Shreveport are also potential candidates for attorney general if Landry doesn't seek reelection, though they haven't committed.

"I'll consider all options; I'm not ruling anything out," Miguez said Monday. Miguez is chairman of the House GOP delegation.

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Landry, who is also an Acadiana Republican, hasn't officially announced his intention to run for governor in 2023, but he is widely expected to run.

In the meantime, Stefanski's statewide profile will rise this year as chairman of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is set to redraw Louisiana's political boundaries following the 2020 Census.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry

Because of redistricting, the House and Governmental Affairs Committee chair and his counterpart in the Senate — Republican Sharon Hewitt of Slidell — are considered to be among the most influential leaders in the Legislature this year.

Their decisions on how to redraw the state's political boundaries will ultimately determine the fate of many of their colleagues' political futures as well as the state's members of Congress.

"It's an incredibly important job and with it comes an enormous amount of responsibility and pressure, but I'm looking forward to leading a fair process that best benefits the people who are represented by us," he said.

There is a chance the redistricting could be disrupted because the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed final Census results.

"Ideally we will still get the job done this year, but we can't start the process until we get the numbers back," Stefanski said.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.