If there were any questions about state Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, running for state treasurer in the fall, a few key staffing decisions he made recently should put all of that to rest.
Riser said in an interview last week the he has hired Sally Nungesser as his fundraising coordinator and conservative operative Rhett Davis as his general consultant.
Jonathan Johnson, the state director for former Congressman Rodney Alexander, is also Riser’s first official staff hire for the not-yet-announced campaign.
Nungesser, for her part, is already hard at work. Riser’s treasurer campaign has a fundraiser scheduled for the first day of the special session.
There should also be some official movement soon from Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, and Angele Davis, president and CEO of the Davis Kelley Group. Both women have been holding high-level meetings.
Former House Speaker Chuck Kleckley of Lake Charles, meanwhile, is out. He let friends and family know his decision last week.
“Thanks to all the kind people that have contacted me about running for state treasurer,” Kleckley said in a written statement. “While, I enjoy public service and working for the people of Louisiana. My decision is to continue growing my governmental relations practice with the great team at Adams and Reese.”
Jay Vicknair, who has consulted for former Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and former U.S. Sen. David Vitter, is serving as Schroder’s campaign manager. Alle Bautsch, who came up during former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s rise, is leading Schroder’s fundraising.
Lionel Rainey, fresh from working for U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s 2016 campaign, is Schroder’s senior strategist and John Diez, one of the architects behind the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority, has been tapped to head up polling and research.
Other possible candidates include Derrick Edwards, a New Orleans attorney and quadriplegic; Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Mandeville; Sen. Eric LaFleur, D-Ville Platte; Speaker Pro Temp Walt Leger, D-New Orleans; retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness of Mandeville; and Acadiana health care executive Gus Rantz of Lafayette.