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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ quest for a second term as the Deep South’s only Democratic governor will stretch over another month, as voters denied him an outright primary win Saturday and sent him to a runoff election.
The incumbent’s inability to top 50% of the vote in the six-candidate field raised questions about his reelection chances against a national Republican offensive that includes President Donald Trump. Trump made a last-minute appeal to Louisiana’s voters to reject Edwards.
Edwards - Nov - Runoff - Eddie - Rispone
Edwards will compete in the Nov. 16 runoff against Eddie Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman and longtime GOP political donor making his first bid for public office. Rispone largely self-financed his campaign, capturing second place after outspending fellow Republican contender U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham 5-to-1.
“We’ve got a little more work to do,” Edwards told supporters Saturday night. He added: “My fellow Louisianans, we are not going backward. That is exactly what Eddie Rispone would have us do. He wants to put us right back on the path that led us into the ditch.”
Rispone - Abraham - Support
Rispone said Abraham called to congratulate him and offer his support.
“With your prayers, we’re going to win. This is just the first step,” Rispone told cheering supporters. “We’re going to turn this state around.”
Statewide - Officials - Ballot - Reelection - Lt
Five Republican statewide elected officials on the ballot won reelection: Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Attorney General Jeff Landry, Treasurer John Schroder, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin was forced into a runoff.
Trump took credit for keeping Edwards from an outright victory, saying in a tweet that Edwards “has done a poor job. NOW HE IS IN A RUNOFF WITH A GREAT REPUBLICAN, @EddieRispone. Thank you Louisiana!” He claimed Edwards’ support fell “after I explained what a bad job the Governor was doing.”
National - Republicans
National Republicans bombarded...
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