Louisiana Governor Race Seen as Latest Test of Trump Drawing Power

Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone and U.S. President Donald Trump deliver remarks during a campaign rally in Bossier City, LA, U.S., November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

(Reuters) – Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a conservative Democrat seeking a second term, faces an election run-off on Saturday against Eddie Rispone, a Republican who has tightly aligned himself with President Donald Trump.

Edwards, an observant Roman Catholic who opposes abortion, holds a slight lead in recent polls over Rispone, a construction entrepreneur described by Trump as “pro-family, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and 100 percent pro-America.”

The outcome will provide the latest barometer on the value of Trump’s endorsement for Republican candidates ahead the 2020 elections.

Other recent elections have offered mixed readings. In Kentucky’s gubernatorial election, Democratic challenger Andy Beshear defeated Republican Governor Matt Bevin despite the president’s full-throated endorsement. But in Mississippi earlier this month, Republicans easily kept their control of the statehouse thanks in part to Trump’s support.

Edwards, the Deep South’s only Democratic governor, has campaigned on a strengthening economy. Louisiana has enjoyed a net increase of 21,000 jobs under his watch, while the unemployment rate dropped from 6% to 4%.

“We’re in the right direction. There’s no doubt about it. We have made a lot of progress over the last four years,” Edwards said during a campaign event in Shreveport on Thursday.

Rispone has depicted himself as a political outsider with business acumen who is setting his sights on rewriting the state constitution in order to reform the state’s tax code.

“We are a red state. We are going to work with the conservatives and work with this president to make Louisiana number one in the South when it comes to jobs and opportunity,” he said as Trump stood behind him at a rally on Thursday in Bossier City.

The rally marked the president’s third visit to the state to support Rispone. Trump told a stadium filled with supporters that they needed to vote on Saturday, because the “eyes of history” were on them.

“If you want to defend your values, your jobs and your freedom, then you need to replace radical liberal John Bel Edwards with a true Louisiana patriot, Eddie Rispone,” Trump said.

Edwards topped Rispone by a large margin in a six-candidate primary last month but failed to secure the 50 percent needed to win a second term outright.

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General Confusion
Member

“Louisiana’s Governor is the last vestige of the old boy democratic machine in the South.” Betsy Lawson

Bwahahahaha! Now THAT’s funny!

Thanks for another daily smile from IJR.

General Confusion
Member

”Even if you hate our President, are you willing to make your life worse off by voting in a Republican?” Lorraine Kemer

I am NOT willing to make my life worse off by voting for ANY current “Republican” OR any corrupt Democrat or other type of corrupt politician who won’t represent MY best interests.

Does that answer your question, Lorraine?

Cherl
Member

Did anyone here know that Phylliphilis was a psychic? She wasted no time yammering about what “IJR posters are going to claim”. Edwards won. Rispone lost. End of story. She referred to the Schiff clown show inquiry. Such hate! Just imagine what could be done if Democrats spent that much time on doing their real job.

Phyllis Softa
Member

Being that Bel Edwards won the election, IJR might want to take down the headline that Louisiana governor’s race was a test for Trump. Yes, Trump went to Louisiana 3 times to campaign for Rispone, but IJR posters are going to claim Trump was so distracted by the impeachment inquiry that he did not get to give Rispone his full support.

Lorraine Kemer
Guest
Lorraine Kemer

I hope the people of Louisiana have the common sense and live of America tho vote Republican. It will take Republicans, who back President Trump, in continuing to keep this country on the correct path so citizens can keep their God given freedoms. Voting in democrats means losing your right to free speech, the right to keep the 2A, killing babies at will, protecting the Illegal (not the citizen), raising taxes and many other things we hold dear in this country. Even if you hate our President, are you willing to make your life worse off by voting in a… Read more »

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