BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS/AP) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will keep his job as the Deep South’s only Democratic governor, in a blow to President Donald Trump, who tried to boost his opponent.
On Saturday, voters narrowly reelected Edwards to a second term, snubbing Republican businessman Eddie Rispone deep in the heart of Trump country.
Louisiana’s only Democratic statewide elected official withstood an onslaught of national Republican opposition and hung on to the seat by focusing on state-specific issues and his record of bipartisanship.
Edwards was helped when Louisiana’s top-tier GOP officials decided against running for the seat.
Rispone had never sought public office and had little name recognition. The wealthy industrial contractor poured millions of his own money into the campaign and wrapped himself in his support for Trump, trying to nationalize the race.
Republican Kyle Ardoin has won his first full term as Louisiana’s chief elections official, the secretary of state.
Ardoin defeated Democratic challenger Gwen Collins-Greenup in Saturday’s election.
The runoff was a rematch of the special election Ardoin won last year.
Ardoin was a top deputy to former Secretary of State Tom Schedler, a Republican who resigned in 2018 amid sexual harassment allegations. Ardoin took over the position, then won the election to serve the final year of Schedler’s term.
Collins-Greenup has worked in notary and real estate businesses and is a former city court administrator and clerk of court employee. She’s did little fundraising to compete for the position.
The two contenders never faced off in a public forum ahead of the election.
Twenty-four state House seats and five Senate seats were also up for grabs across the state, and voters around Northwest Louisiana have local parish and municipal elections to decide.
In Louisiana House District 3, Tammy Phelps won in the race to fill the seat left vacant by state representative Barbara Norton, who is now term-limited, defeating Daryl Joy Walters in Saturday’s runoff.
Local voters also weighed in on several propositions, covering everything from property and sales taxes to alcohol sales, police and fire protection, improvements of streets and bridges and maintaining public facilities.
Voters in both Minden and Springhill approved all five propositions on the ballot in each cities related to the sale of alcohol within city limits.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.