Louisiana's Democratic governor fights for re-election in Republican-leaning state

By Brendan O'Brien (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.

Reuters November 17, 2019 00:11:30 IST
Louisiana's Democratic governor fights for re-election in Republican-leaning state

Louisianas Democratic governor fights for reelection in Republicanleaning state

By Brendan O'Brien

(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.

In a Tweet early on Saturday morning, Trump urged Louisiana voters to vote for Rispone, saying he will decrease their taxes and the cost of auto insurance, which is the highest in the United States, while protecting their gun rights.

"He will be a great governor!" Trump wrote in an earlier Tweet.

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 Bevin endorsement. In Mississippi earlier this month, Republicans easily kept 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.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; Additional reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Bill Berkrot)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

The forces fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray conflict
World

The forces fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray conflict

ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopia's military is fighting battle-hardened troops in the northern Tigray region, threatening stability around the Horn of Africa. Here are some facts on the forces: THE NATIONAL MILITARY: THE ENDF The Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) has around 140,000 active personnel, the vast majority of them in the army, according to the Janes security data group. Its troops have been tested by Islamist militants in Somalia and rebel groups in Ethiopia's border regions, as well as a two-year border war with Eritrea followed by an 18-year standoff that only ended in 2018.

Turkey to impose measures to combat coronavirus, Erdogan says
World

Turkey to impose measures to combat coronavirus, Erdogan says

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the government will impose tighter measures to fight with the coronavirus and impose partial lockdowns on weekends across the country. Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Erdogan also said all schools will remain closed until the year-end and all restaurants will only work by delivery

Brazil to track illegal Amazon wood exports using isotopes, president says
World

Brazil to track illegal Amazon wood exports using isotopes, president says

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday his government in coming days will name countries that are importing wood illegally extracted from the Amazon. Addressing a BRICS summit of big developing economies, Bolsonaro said Brazilian police had developed a way of tracking wood exported from the Amazon using isotopes.