John Bel Edwards Wins Reelection in Louisiana
Louisiana reelected Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards Saturday, dealing a stunning blow to Republicans who had banked on President Donald Trump’s popularity in the conservative state to return the governor’s mansion to the GOP.
Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the deep south and was seen as genuinely vulnerable after his failure to win reelection outright in the state’s jungle primary last month.
Trump himself made three trips to Louisiana to rally against Edwards, but the governor’s focus on bipartisanship and state-specific issues enabled him to prevail over Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, garnering 51 percent of the vote.
Working with the majority-Republican Legislature, Edwards stabilized state finances with a package of tax increases, digging the state out of a deep deficit. As the state’s fiscal health improved, Edwards invested in public colleges and the first statewide teacher raise in a decade.
He also expanded Louisiana’s Medicaid program, lowering the state’s uninsured rate below the national average. A bipartisan criminal sentencing law rewrite he championed ended Louisiana’s tenure as the nation’s top jailer.
Coming after a defeat in the Kentucky governor’s race and sizable losses in Virginia’s legislative races, the Louisiana result seems certain to rattle Republicans heading into the 2020 presidential election.
Exit polls showed that in addition to his focus on local issues, Edwards benefits from a surge in anti-Trump sentiment and a high black voter turnout.
“How sweet is it,” declared Edwards at his victory rally late Saturday night.
“And as for the president, God bless his heart,” he said. “Tonight the people of Louisiana have chosen to chart their own path,” Edwards said.
Meanwhile, across town in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Rispone asked his disappointed supporters to give a round of applause to Trump.
“That man loves America and he loves Louisiana,” said Rispone, who had closely aligned himself with the president and the president’s policies during his campaign.
In the end, however, it may have been Rispone’s shortcomings as a candidate and Edward’s personal conservatism that were the Republican candidate’s undoing.
Rispone had little name recognition when he entered the race for governor, and even after he came in second in the primary, he offered few details about what he’d do if elected.
Edwards, meanwhile, didn’t fit the mold of a candidate Republicans could bash as a liberal or a dreaded socialist.
A West Point graduate and former Army Ranger, Edwards has long said he opposes most restrictions on gun ownership and signed one of the nation’s strictest abortion bans.
He’s also not thrown his lot in with supporters of the impeachment of Trump, calling the effort a distraction from the looming 2020 elections.
In The News
Notice: Undefined variable: pc_ID in /var/www/html/thewellnews/wp-content/themes/twentynineteen-child/template-parts/content/content-single.php on line 263
Notice: Undefined variable: primary_cat in /var/www/html/thewellnews/wp-content/themes/twentynineteen-child/template-parts/content/content-single.php on line 268
Boeing's massive aircraft assembly facility in North Charleston, S.C. has resumed deliveries of the aerospace giant's 787 Dreamliner passenger jet, after the discovery of structural flaws in some of the planes led to five months of engineering analysis and inspection work. "Our commitment to safety and... Read More
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland's General Assembly on Saturday enacted the nation’s most sweeping police reform legislation to make officers more accountable to the public. The new rules place more restrictions on use of force and no-knock warrants. Other provisions require body cameras and give civilians a... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Slain U.S. Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" Evans will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday during the second such memorial ceremony this year for a force that has edged close to crisis in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection.President... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has begun publicly courting Republicans to back his sweeping infrastructure plan, but his reach across the aisle is intended just as much to keep Democrats in line as it is a first step in an uphill climb to any bipartisan... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is recommending a "pause" in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden wants Congress to know he's sincere about cutting a deal on infrastructure, but Republican lawmakers have deep-seated doubts about the scope of his proposed package, its tax hikes and Biden's premise that this is an inflection point for the U.S.... Read More