BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – While the governor’s race is already decided, there are important statewide offices that are still to be determined. The treasurer’s race is headed for a runoff between Dustin Granger and John Fleming.
The Treasurer of Louisiana handles the state’s investments, chairs the Bond Commission and makes sure the public gets their unclaimed property.
Granger, the Democrat, wants to be another voice on the other side of the aisle as the majority of state government is leaning right. On the other side, Fleming wants to bring a more conservative message to the Treasurer’s office. They will face off to control the state’s bank.
Granger is a financial advisor from Lake Charles. He gained 32% of the vote in the primary and had the highest number of votes for a Democrat in all of the statewide races.
“I have direct experience helping working families, managing their money, their investments, their debt management,” Granger said.
Fleming is a former congressman and business owner. He took home 44% of the vote in October. He believes that Louisianans are looking for a conservative swing in state government.
“We’ve had a Democrat governor in an otherwise Republican state, and then we’ve had a lot of people who kind of straddle both parties and policies of both parties. And as a result, we’ve continued to decline as a state,” Fleming said.
The stark difference between the candidates is their position on Environmental, Social, and Governance investments – or ESG. Fleming believes the state should not invest its money into companies that take stances against the oil and gas industry.
“The investment should be based solely on return on investment. And right now, these so-called ESG investments, environmental, social and governance have had very, very, very poor returns,” Fleming said.
The research on ESG often comes back with conflicting reports on how much they impact returns on investments.
In his time in Congress, Fleming served on the natural resources committee where he learned a lot about not only oil and gas but also renewable energy sources. He is in support of a variety of options to invest in as long as there is a return on investment.
Granger believes the state needs to diversify its investments outside of the traditional means the state has been following for decades.
“How can you again fight for people and what’s best for getting a return on our investment? Whenever the corporate oil and gas lobby wants you to ban clean energy investment?” Granger said.
After his tenure in the Trump administration ended, Fleming has been accused of running for Treasurer as a way to get statewide name recognition in order to run for Congress in the future.
“It’s pretty clear what he wants to do, that this is just a launching point for his next thing,” Granger said.
Fleming strongly denied this and said he wanted to get back to serving his state.
“Louisiana really has become a conservative red state, Republican state and of course, the Democrat Party is in somewhat disarray right now,” Fleming said.
Both candidates agree on the issue of politics getting in the way of the Bond Commission’s duty to approve bonds and funds for infrastructure projects across the state. They say the DC politics don’t belong in the state capitol.
A recent poll conducted by Change Research showed the two candidates neck and neck in the runoff. The poll surveyed 533 likely runoff voters, after testing each candidate’s messaging, showing Granger with 43% of the vote and Fleming with 47% with a margin of error of +/- 4.6%.
Election day is Nov. 18.
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