Vitter, Boustany among possible Trump La. picks

by Jeremy Alford, LaPolitics

President-elect Donald Trump still has some top jobs to fill and there are a few Louisiana politicians who are about to be jobless. So it’s only natural that the rumor mill is still churning out possibilities, starting with outgoing U.S. Sen. David Vitter.

Would Vitter make a good fit for a gig in the treasury department? That’s the suggestion from Fortune journalist Chris Matthews, who wrote Vitter into one his stories a couple weeks ago.

“One avenue Trump might take to strike a balance would be to nominate a high-ranking Republican congressmen with a history of taking a skeptical stance toward Wall Street,” wrote Matthews, “like Louisiana Senator David Vitter, who has supported measures that would break up too-big to fail banks, and is planning to retire from the Senate this year.”

Not to be outdone, outgoing Congressman Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, is reportedly on a shortlist to possibly be Trump’s chief U.S. trade negotiator, according to Politico.

The insider D.C. publication noted that Boustany “has long been a trade advocate in Congress and sits on the House Ways and Means Committee… The lawmaker has had a keen interest in the issue, especially as it relates to the oil and gas interests of his south Louisiana district.”

There has likewise been speculation about former Gov. Bobby Jindal having a shot at becoming Trump’s secretary of health and human services, which has ignited coverage of the unverified rumor back home in Louisiana.

Plus, there are those who helped Trump on the ground in the Bayou State.

Two of those top players were Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta, chairman of the Louisiana for Trump campaign, and Louisiana for Trump executive director Ryan Lambert.

Skrmetta said he sent Trump’s transition team “the names of highly qualified individuals from Louisiana who are interested in serving the nation and our 45th president.”

Then there’s retired U.S. Navy commander John Wells, a Slidell-based attorney whose practice focuses on military and veterans issues. Following Trump’s election, a grassroots efforts was launched to have Wells appointed as veterans affairs secretary.

The executive director of the non-profit Military-Veterans Advocacy, Wells has the support of some members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation and his bid has been endorsed by the St. Tammany Republican Parish Executive Committee.

“There’s no doubt Cdr. Wells would represent the president-elect’s vision and help fulfill Mr. Trump’s promises of reform in the V.A.,” said St. Tammany RPEC chairman Larry Frieman. “Our servicemen and women and our veterans have given their best to the United States, and they need representation from someone like John to ensure we give our best back to them.”

As of Thanksgiving weekend, Trump had made several White House hires already and nominated a number of cabinet heads already, including philanthropist Betsy DeVos for education secretary.

While not from Louisiana, DeVos does have firm political ties to the Bayou State. In addition to donating money to candidates in Louisiana, she heads the American Federation for Children, which is the parent organization for the Louisiana Federation for Children.

Trump has also nominated the following individuals:

— South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as ambassador to the United Nations

— Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas as CIA director

— Investor Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary

— U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama for attorney general