Trump suffers another setback as Louisiana's Democratic governor wins re-election

Henrietta Brewer
November 18, 2019

In Kentucky's gubernatorial election last week, Democratic challenger Andy Beshear defeated Republican Governor Matt Bevin despite the president's endorsement, while Democrats have also taken full control of state government in Virginia.

Trump, who had won 58 percent of the popular vote in Louisiana in the 2016 presidential election, had travelled to the state three times to support Rispone, a Republican businessman, and repeatedly supported the candidate on Twitter.

Edwards narrowly lost my home parish of Calcasieu, thanks to heavy Republican support in the white-flight areas outside Lake Charles (pop. 77,000), but the old center of LC went blue. "And as for the president, God bless his heart", Edwards told supporters. "If this campaign has taught us anything, it's that the partisan forces in Washington, D.C., are not enough to break through the bonds that we share as Louisianans", Edwards said during his victory speech.

Cross said that Trump's presence in the election also helped to ignite the Democratic base in the state, particularly among black voters.

As he conceded the race, Rispone called on supporters to give a round of applause for Trump, saying: "That man loves America and he loves Louisiana".

Louisiana Republican Gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone leaves the stage as USA president Donald Trump watches during a "Keep America Great" rally in Bossier City, Louisiana on November 14, 2019.

A West Point graduate and former Army Ranger, Edwards opposes most gun restrictions, signed one of the nation's strictest abortion bans and dismissed the impeachment effort as a distraction.

But while Mr Rispone's loss raises questions about the strength of Mr Trump's coattails, its relevance to his re-election chances are less clear.

Meanwhile, Rispone, 70, wasn't among the top-tier candidates Republican leaders hoped would challenge Edwards. Edwards also scored big in Shreveport. Signing the law caused a rift between Gov. Edwards and his party, with many notable Democrats condemning Gov. Edwards. He hitched his entire candidacy to Trump, introducing himself in ads that focused on support for the president.

The president decried Edwards as a "radical leftist" in the lead up to the election. The people of Louisiana know better than that. "I am squarely in the middle of the political spectrum", Edwards said, according to The Associated Press. 'That hasn't changed, and that´s the way we've been governing'.

Rispone said he was like Trump, describing himself as a "conservative outsider" whose business acumen would help solve the state's problems.

'We want Louisiana to be No. 1 in the South when it comes to jobs and opportunity. "But that is exactly what Eddie Rispone would have us do", he continued. Trump had campaigned heartily for both candidates. A longtime donor, he spent millions of dollars of his own money on his campaign.

"We have nothing to be ashamed of".

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