2019 Governor's Race

WWNO will air the gubernatorial debate Thursday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m.
Credit LPB

Governor John Bel Edwards, U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham, and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone face off in a statewide televised gubernatorial debate at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, Thursday, September 26, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. Hear the debate live on 89.9 WWNO New Orleans Public Radio.

Today, we're taking a look back at the year in Louisiana politics.

In 2019, we saw some things change and others stay the same.

Democrat John Bel Edwards earned another four years in the governor's mansion, but it was a lonely victory. Republicans won every other statewide race and have unprecedented control in the House and Senate.

And there were some changes on this program as well. Wallis Watkins has left Capitol Access, but she was kind enough to come back and talk through some of the big stories of 2019.

Democrats have a formula-- a recipe for success in Louisiana elections. Demographer Greg Rigamer explains.

"You need, as a Democrat, to win 90% of the African American voter and a third of the white vote," Rigamer said.

And African Americans need to account for at least 30% of the votes cast.

"That's been the formula that has held true for every every race since really 2003," he added.

By now, you have no doubt heard that on Saturday night, Governor John Bel Edwards won re-election over Republican challenger Eddie Rispone. 

But how did the Democrat incumbent score victory in ruby-red, Louisiana?

To talk through the results, I'm joined by demographer and Edward's campaign consultant, Greg Rigamer.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards at the rally at the Capitol on Youth Justice Day.
Sarah Hunt / Louisiana Center for Children's Rights

Louisiana's Democratic governor John Bel Edwards has been re-elected to serve a second term. According to the Associated Press, the unofficial results show Edwards will win the election over his Republican challenger, businessman and political donor Eddie Rispone.

On any given day there are an estimated 12,000 people in Louisiana being held in parish jails awaiting trial. For the most part, these are people who haven't been convicted of a crime-- meaning they retain the right to vote.

But while they may be eligible to vote by law, the harsh realities of life behind bars amount to 'practical disenfranchisement.'

Edwards and Rispone differ on how they approach K12 ed.
WALLIS WATKINS, WRKF / AURIANNA CORDERO, LSU REVEILLE

One of the most important issues to many voters is education, and there are some key differences in how Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards and his Republican challenger Eddie Rispone approach K-12 education.

Louisiana Governor's Race Enters Final Week

Nov 12, 2019

The Louisiana governor's race is too close to call as it enters its final week. National political analysts have described the race as a toss-up and local polling shows incumbent John Bel Edwards and GOP challenger Eddie Rispone neck-and-neck as they make their final pitches to voters.

On this week's Capitol Access, Stephanie Grace, columnist for The New Orleans Advocate joins the program to discuss the race.

Five weeks separate the gubernatorial primary and runoff in the race for Louisiana governor and this week marks the halfway point. Primary voters whittled down the field to two candidates—Republican businessman Eddie Rispone and the incumbent, Democrat John Bel Edwards.

The top-three candidates met in televised debates three times ahead of the primary and a few more times in candidate forums around the state. But that hasn't been the case in the runoff.

On Wednesday, Edwards and Rispone will meet face-to-face in the first, and likely only, debate before voters head to the polls November 16th.

Pearson Cross, political science professor and the Associate Dean of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette College of Liberal Arts, previews the showdown.

WWNO To Broadcast Final Governor's Debate

Oct 28, 2019
LPB

The Governor's race is down to two candidates and you can hear their final debate as they discuss the issues facing our state live on WWNO. WWNO is partnering with Louisiana Public Broadcasting and the Council For A Better Louisiana to simulcast the Louisiana Governor's debate Wednesday, October 30 at 7:00 PM. John Bel Edwards and Eddie Rispone debate from Baton Rouge, LA. Listen live on 89.9 WWNO New Orleans Public Radio and online at wwno.org.

After months of campaigning as a political outsider and self-financing his bid to become Louisiana’s governor to the tune of $11 million, Eddie Rispone is now welcoming the endorsement and support of the Louisiana Republican Party.

Throughout the primary contest, GOP leaders had been wary of returning to the partisan in-fighting that cleared the way for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ long-shot victory 2015.

They took a wait-and-see approach, confident that one of their candidates would earn a spot in a runoff against Edwards.

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