His father was a governor-turned-senator, and the talk is that he may be a senator-turned-governor. Russell B. Long (D-La.), who is retiring after 38 years in the Senate, is being courted to run for the Louisiana governorship in 1987.
What started out as "a rumor around the time Gov. Edwin W. Edwards was indicted has snowballed into the closest thing we've seen to a real draft in Louisiana politics," said Bob Mann, Long's press secretary. Edwards, a Democrat, was recently acquitted of fraud and racketeering charges.
"Because the state has troubles, I might think about it," Long said recently in Louisiana. "In fact, I will think about whether I should run for governor -- but I am not going to decide today." He intends to announce a decision after his successor is chosen in the Sept. 27 election, according to Mann.
Republicans were beginning to look hopefully at Louisiana's statehouse because of the oil slump and a vulnerable incumbent, said Michelle Davis, executive director of the Republican Governors' Association, "but if Long comes in, we might as well shut the state down."
Edwards, whose popularity has plummeted, has told friends he does not plan to seek reelection. Three Democrats -- Rep. W.J. (Billy) Tauzin, Rep. Buddy Roemer and Secretary of State Jim Brown -- are considering the race.