NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate provides the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, November 16th, 2019

Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards reelected in Louisiana to new four year term

Anoth­er win for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, anoth­er defeat for Don­ald J. Trump.

Vot­ers in Louisiana tonight have reelect­ed incum­bent Demo­c­ra­t­ic Gov­er­nor John Bel Edwards, keep­ing the Pel­i­can State’s top elect­ed posi­tion in Demo­c­ra­t­ic hands for anoth­er four years. With 99% of precincts in Louisiana report­ing, Bel Edwards had 51% of the vote (773,118 votes as of 8:40 PM Pacif­ic), while Repub­li­can chal­lenger Eddie Rispone had 49% of the vote (733,160 votes).

Bel Edwards’ near­ly forty thou­sand vote lead was pro­pelled by three key parish­es: Orleans (home of New Orleans), East Baton Rouge, and Caddo.

In Orleans Parish, Bel Edward has a jaw-drop­ping 90% of the vote (114,812 votes), while in East Baton Rouge, he has 66% (102,671 votes) and in Cad­do he has 58% (44,687 votes). Bel Edwards also per­formed well in Jef­fer­son Parish, with 57% of the vote (72,192 votes) and West Baton Rouge with 57% (6,501 votes).

“Louisiana, Ken­tucky, and Vir­ginia have deliv­ered a dev­as­tat­ing warn­ing to Don­ald Trump’s Repub­li­can Par­ty — Gov­er­nor Edwards’ vic­to­ry is anoth­er sign of Democ­rats’ surg­ing strength,” said Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee Chair Tom Perez in a state­ment cel­e­brat­ing the vic­to­ry. “As vot­ers reject the GOP agen­da, Democ­rats are com­pet­ing and win­ning in every cor­ner of the coun­try. Less than a year before the 2020 elec­tion, the wind is firm­ly at our backs.”

Perez’ state­ment not­ed that the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee invest­ed hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars into the Louisiana Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty to sup­port Bel Edwards and the Demo­c­ra­t­ic tick­et. Clear­ly, that invest­ment has paid off.

“Rispone, a sev­en­ty-year-old busi­ness­man mak­ing his first run for pub­lic office, had Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump at his side at ral­lies – along with $2 mil­lion and six­ty paid staffers sent at the last minute from the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee and mil­lions more from the Repub­li­can Gov­er­nors Asso­ci­a­tion – hop­ing to flip the office to the GOP,” not­ed The Advo­cate of Baton Rouge.

“Rarely have pres­i­dents been so involved in a state-lev­el race,” The Advo­cate’s staff report observed, explain­ing: “Trump vis­it­ed Louisiana three times to ral­ly Repub­li­can and rur­al vot­ers to head to the polls and ‘fire’ Edwards, call­ing him ‘a rad­i­cal.’ Trump told Louisiana vot­ers they could send a mes­sage to nation­al Democ­rats that they stood behind him by vot­ing for Rispone.”

Instead of heed­ing Trump, vot­ers in Louisiana have cho­sen to reelect John Bel Edwards, emphat­i­cal­ly rebuk­ing Don­ald Trump just days after vot­ers in Ken­tucky dumped Repub­li­can Gov­er­nor Matt Bevin and vot­ers in Vir­ginia gave Democ­rats uni­fied con­trol over the state­house in Richmond.

Bel Edwards is the only Demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­er­nor in the Deep South.

The gov­er­nor’s reelec­tion vic­to­ry is all the more sig­nif­i­cant in that it came in a Sat­ur­day runoff elec­tion in the mid­dle of Novem­ber. Democ­rats are often at a dis­ad­van­tage in low­er turnout elec­tions, but they were able to return Bel Edwards to the gov­er­nor’s man­sion in this runoff. Quite the accomplishment.

“Have to give cred­it to Edwards/Dems’ runoff turnout oper­a­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly w/ African-Amer­i­can vot­ers,” tweet­ed Dave Wasser­man of the Cook Polit­i­cal Report. “Com­pared to the pri­ma­ry, turnout was up… 29% in New Orleans, 26% in Shreve­port, 14% in Baton Rouge (w/ 6 precincts still out).

“And just 9% every­where else.”

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