Capitol Access

  • Hosted by Wallis Watkins

Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy.

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Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards will face Republican businessman Eddie Rispone in a November 16 runoff election after Saturday's gubernatorial primary.

Democrat John Bel Edwards was the leading vote getter, winning 47% of the total cast. But the incumbent fell short of the 50% threshold to win the election outright.

That means Edwards will square off against Rispone, who came in second place and edged out Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham.

Controversies in national politics have simmered on the back-burner in the Louisiana Governor's race for months. However, over the weekend President Donald Trump and his allies turned up the heat, announcing a flurry of campaign events in the state in the last days before the October 12 primary.

Vice President Mike Pence appeared at a "Unity Rally" for U.S. Congressman Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone, the top-two GOP challengers in the race. Donald Trump Jr. headlined a similar event in Lafayette on Monday, and President Donald Trump will hold a rally on Friday.

On this week's Capitol Access, Stephanie Grace, columnist for The New Orleans Advocate/Times-Picayune discusses how that could affect the Gov. John Bel Edwards reelection bid.

77,000 Louisianans made their way to the polls on Saturday, the first day of early voting in the October 12 election. That's the second highest first-day turnout for early voting ever and more than double the turnout on the same day in the last governor's race.

On this week's Capitol Access, pollster John Couvillon of JMC Analytics and Polling discusses how early voting is shaping elections across the state.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, Congressman Ralph Abraham and Baton Rouge business man Eddie Rispone faced off last week for the first of three televised debates ahead of the October 12th election.

In a race that's largely been contested through TV ads and press releases, the appearance marked the first time the three candidates met face-to-face to discuss the issues and take jabs at each other.

Incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, and Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham solidified themselves as the frontrunners of their respective parties Thursday night in the first gubernatorial debate of 2019.

Eddie Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman and self-described political outsider, dismissed Edwards and Abraham as “career politicians,” but struggled to provide detailed policy proposals of his own.

Voters will have the final say on four proposed constitutional amendments when they head to the polls next month.

While most voters' will be focused on the gubernatorial candidates at the top of their ballot, they know little about the constitutional amendments down below.

The Governor's race is heating up. As we approach the October 12 primary, the three major candidates vying to become the state's chief executive, and their supporters, have flooded the airwaves with their pitches to Louisiana voters.

And claims about the economy are front-and-center. 

With candidates referencing their own economic statistics and offering conflicting outlooks, it can be hard for voters to know what to think.

On this week's Capitol Access, Greg Albrecht, chief economist of Louisiana's Legislative Fiscal Office, provides some non-partisan context.

Louisiana’s higher education leaders recently boosted the goals of postsecondary education in the state. By 2030, they want 60% of Louisiana’s adults to have earned some sort of college degree or certificate.  To hit that target, the state’s colleges and universities will need to double the number of credentials awarded each year.

On this week's Capitol Access, Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana System, discusses what it will take to get there.

It’s been nearly a year since trade tensions between China and the U.S. began escalating. Since then, both countries have introduced several rounds of tariffs, hitting multiple industries in Louisiana.

On this week's Capitol Access, Greg Upton, an assistant research professor at LSU’s Center for Energy Studies, discusses the impact in Louisiana so far. 

Every seat in the Louisiana Legislature is up for election this October. A third of those races have already been decided, as candidates went unopposed.

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