(WVLA) – With the Midterm Elections just a couple of weeks away, pundits and politicos will need another election to focus on. So here’s a look at the next big contest in Louisiana – the Governor’s race.
It will take place October 12th, 2019. So far, the official candidate count is very slim, but with a year to go, the race can, and probably will, grow.
As Governor John Bel Edwards prepares to run for re-election as the only Democratic governor in the deep south, he will likely see enthusiastic resistance from the Republican party.
But he appears to be ready to defend his record.
Responding to our story his Communications Office emailed the following statement that reads in part,
Gov. Edwards took office almost three years ago, Louisiana was facing a $2 billion budget shortfall. The budget was saddled with one-time money to pay for recurring expenses and the previous administration had raided all of our trust funds. Every year, higher education and health care were on the chopping block. After a lot of hard work and a sustained commitment to put Louisiana first, Gov. Edwards and the legislature stabilized the state budget for the first time in years. That hard work stabilized funding for higher education for two years in a row and fully funded TOPS and Go Grants.”
The statement goes on to list as his top successes, prison reform, Medicaid expansion, and lower unemployment.
The statement ends with “This is a record of results that Gov. Edwards ran on in 2015, and he’ll be happy to run on when the campaign season gets underway in 2019.”
A Republican challenger has stepped up.
In early October, Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone made it official when he filed with the State’s Ethics Administration office to begin fund raising.
The unofficial list of possible challengers includes Republicans, Attorney General Jeff Landry, U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham, State Senator Sharron Hewitt, and U.S. Senator John Kennedy.
As late as Friday, while talking to a Denham Springs High School class, he was asked again if he’ll run.
“I haven’t made a decision yet. I’ll decide soon. I polled it, I’ve been shown polls. If I run I’ll win. But It’s more complex than that. I enjoy being Senator, I enjoy what I’m doing. I got to make a decision that’s right for me and my family,” said Kennedy.
In September JMC Analytics and Polling released numbers on the Governor’s race.
When asked if Governor Edwards deserves another term, 43 percent of respondents said yes, 37 percent said no, and 20 percent were undecided.