Edwards faces Rispone in Louisiana governor runoff race


Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

Andres Fuentes

Governor John Bel Edwards had a legitimate chance to be re-elected in this year’s primaries, but now he has another month of campaigning before he has another shot at a second term.

The Democratic incumbent ended with just 47% of the vote in a six-candidate field. The governor needed 51% to have another four years in the state house, but efforts by the Republican Party, especially President Donald Trump, boosted businessman Eddie Rispone with a second place finish.

The President visited Lake Charles on Friday for a last-chance rally to garner more support for Rispone and Congressman Ralph Abraham, the other leading Republican in the governor’s race.

President Trump’s visit was nearly a week after Vice President Mike Pence held a Unity Rally for both candidates, stressing the need for either Rispone or Abraham to win the election.

Rispone had 27% of the vote and Abraham earned only 24%. The Congressman has already showed support for his fellow Republican opponent as so has the state’s party.

Eddie Rispone speaks at the GOP Unity Rally on Oct. 5, 2019. Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

“Tonight, Louisiana voters soundly rejected John Bel Edwards,” said LAGOP Chairman Louis Gurvich. “ Eddie Rispone is a chief executive, a proven job creator, and a political outsider free from the conflicts created by special interest money. (He) will do for Louisiana what President Trump has done for America.”

Rispone, who has never held or run for any political office prior, will face off with Edwards in the runoff elections on November 16.

The incumbent candidate was quick to take jabs at Rispone after the primary results were announced.

“The progress that we have made is still at stake. It took all of us to put Louisiana back on a path to prosperity, but it only takes one person putting Washington style politics over the people of Louisiana to reverse everything that we have accomplished together,” Edwards said. “My fellow Louisianans, we are not going back.But that is exactly what Eddie Rispone would have us do.”

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards speaks to his supporters at the New Orleans Jazz Market on September 25, 2019. Photo credit: Andres Fuentes