BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The former secretary of the state’s Department of Transportation and Development is running for governor of Louisiana.

Shawn Wilson announced on Monday, March 6 that he is seeking the highest office in the state. He recently retired from the top spot at Louisiana DOTD.

Wilson said, “I’ve worked for four different governors for over 25 years. I know the challenges our state is facing, and I know what it’ll take to overcome them. Louisiana needs a Governor who will build bridges; not burn them. That’s the kind of leader I’ve been, and that’s exactly the kind of governor I promise to be. My family and I look forward to hitting the campaign trail and earning every vote.”

Wilson is the first and only Democrat to get into the gubernatorial race so far. He said he’s not planning on just being a third term for John Bel Edwards and has a lot of ideas on how he wants to further the state.

“We will take what is good and solid and build on it. Then in places where we have disagreements, we have different challenges,” Wilson said.

Wilson served as the DOTD secretary for seven years and worked across multiple governor administrations throughout his career. He believes that experience can help him work with the legislature to get meaningful legislation passed.

“We’re going to do it the way I’ve done my job for the last 25 years, ignoring the partisanship, working across the line, looking at facts, looking at data, and building sustainable solutions,” Wilson said.

Like other candidates, Wilson wants to focus on bettering education, fighting crime and advancing infrastructure. When asked how he would do this, he brings up advancing technology that can help law enforcement agencies in situations such as interstate shootings.

“The idea that we aren’t using technology perhaps to deal with that is a concern. We can also use technology to help provide resources for the local governments to be able to network and communicate much more effectively,” Wilson said.

For education and infrastructure, Wilson said he wants to look at data for programs and investments that actually work to improve the state.

Wilson joins an already busy ballot across the aisle with four Republicans and one independent vying for their seat on the fourth floor. There’s still plenty of time for other candidates to potentially get into this race as qualifying is not until August.

The primary election date is Oct. 14.