Strain wins another term as ag commissioner

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Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain addresses the media at the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office after signing up to run in the upcoming election, in Baton Rouge, La., Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael DeMocker)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Republican Mike Strain has defeated four farmers vying to unseat him as Louisiana’s agriculture commissioner.

Voters reelected Strain, a veterinarian in office since 2008, to a fourth term in Saturday’s primary.

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Strain faced four challengers. Democrats included Charlie Greer, a Natchitoches Parish farmer who ran unsuccessfully in 2015; New Orleans vegetable and flower farmer Marguerite Green; and Lettsworth tree farmer Peter Williams. Also in the race was Republican rice and crawfish farmer Bradley Zaunbrecher.

Strain defended his tenure, saying he’s streamlined the department, paid down debt and saved taxpayers millions while the industries he regulates doubled in value.

Opponents criticized Strain as decimating the department with cuts and doing too little to assist farmers with changes needed in the agriculture industry. But they had few resources to campaign against Strain.

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