Republican state Rep. Lance Harris of Alexandria announced Wednesday he has entered the race to replace Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham, who is retiring after serving three terms.
Harris joins Republican Ouachita Police Juror Scotty Robinson and Democrat "Candy" Christophe of Alexandria in the race.
Abraham's chief of staff Luke Letlow, R-Start, is expected to announce his candidacy later this week.
"Ralph Abraham has served our state with honor and distinction and I want to personally thank him for his service," Harris said in a statement. "The voters of this district deserve a proven conservative as their next congressman — someone with real life business experience and a record of fighting for Louisiana families, Louisiana jobs and Louisiana values. That's exactly who I am."
The 5th Congressional District has Monroe and Alexandria as its population hubs but dips into Acadiana to take in Opelousas and into the Florida parishes to take in Bogalusa.
Harris, a small business owner, served most of the past two terms in the Louisiana House as chairman of the House Republican delegation.
Harris said he will align himself with President Trump, who must win reelection, if he gets to Washington.
"Washington D.C. is a mess," he said. "Just like I've done in the Louisiana Legislature, I’ll work with President Trump to continue to cut taxes, rein in waste and get government off the backs of our farmers and job creators. Despite what (Democratic presidential candidates) Bernie (Sanders) and (Joe) Biden say, America needs to be less like Cuba and more like Caldwell Parish.
"I'm ready to go to D.C. to fight for Louisiana families and stop radicals from driving our country into a ditch."
Next fall's primary election is Nov. 3.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.