SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – One of the biggest races in our area this election day is the runoff for state senate district 36. President Donald Trump’s visit to Louisiana Thursday may impact those results.
Two Republicans are vying for the post: incumbent Ryan Gatti and businessman Robert Mills. But, only one of them got the official endorsement from President Trump.
President Trump lent some of his presidential power to Mills. He’s endorsed the candidate two different times at campaign rallies.
“There’s no down side to being endorsed by the President of the United States,” said Mills. “What an honor, what a privilege.”
Mills’s opponent, incumbent Ryan Gatti, said that support has no impact on his campaign.
“I support President Trump, he’s a good president,” said Gatti. “But, you know, when it comes to local politics, all politics are local. And I think we have our base, Robert has his base, and it’s gonna be who gets the ‘turn out the vote.'”
Gatti said he’s spent a lot of time in the district throughout his current four-year term, interacting with the 120,000 people in the district.
“We know the people by name, and we know them by need,” said Gatti.
That’s something opponent Mills said is an advantage he has not had. Instead, he said he is using endorsements from other elected officials to help get out the vote.
“I call in those people and I do everything I can to ensure the people out there that my intentions are honorable,” said Mills. “This is not about me, this is about us and it’s about our children and our grandchildren.”
This campaign has gotten heated, but both men said they want to do what’s best for residents in the district.
“I’m gonna be on top of the table, I’m gonna be honest with the people,” said Mills. “Some things I can do, some things I can’t do, some things I will try to do.”
“We have a lot of work we haven’t finished yet,” said Gatti. “And we’d like to be re-elected, so we can finish the work we’ve started.”
Both candidates stressed how important it is to show up to the polls Saturday to vote. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, November 16.