Vitter to decide on governor's race by January

BATON ROUGE (AP) — After months of dodging the talk, Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter said Tuesday that he is considering

a run for governor in 2015 and plans to decide by next month.

Vitter told The Associated Press that he is

sending an email to supporters Wednesday and is in discussions with his

family

about the possibility. He said he expects to make his decision by

January so he will have time to fundraise, develop a campaign

and work on his policy agenda.

"This is the logical time to do it, if I'm ever going to do it," the two-term senator said. "There are strong arguments in

either direction, but the general question in my mind is where I think I can make the most positive contribution."

Vitter, 52, would be a formidable candidate

and other possible GOP contenders have been waiting for him to announce

his intentions

before they decide theirs. "I think I'd be a significant

candidate, but there are no sure bets in life," he said.

Gov. Bobby Jindal is term-limited, so the governor's race is wide open.

Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne has said he intends to run, along with Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards, chairman of

the House Democratic Caucus. A list of others are eyeing the position, including Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy.

Vitter's approval ratings are high in Louisiana, and his ability to rake in campaign donations is strong. And he has proved

to be a resilient politician, holding elected office for more than two decades as a state and federal lawmaker and easily

winning re-election to a second U.S. Senate term in 2010, despite a prostitution scandal.

He admitted to a "serious sin" after phone records linked him to Washington's "D.C. Madam" prostitution case in 2007, but

he's never commented further on whether he broke the law, instead saying his family had forgiven him and moved past it.

Voters, too, haven't held the scandal against Vitter, with more than 58 percent giving him good marks in a recent Southern

Media and Opinion Research poll about his job performance.

"Should U.S. Sen. David Vitter pursue the (governor's) post, his popularity with Republican voters gives him the advantage

over his Republican rivals," pollster Bernie Pinsonat said.

A possible gubernatorial bid is boosted further by a pro-Vitter super PAC formed nearly a year ago that has raised at least

$750,000 so far.

Vitter could run for governor in 2015 without forfeiting his current elected position, which isn't up for re-election until

2016.