Trump-Backed Candidate Wins Louisiana Governor’s Race

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has won the governor’s election, giving Republicans control of the state’s highest executive office for the first time since 2016.

Landry competed with more than a dozen others in the jungle primary, in which candidates from all parties appear on the same ballot. If no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff between the top two vote-getters would have occurred.

However, since Landry received more than fifty percent of the vote as of late Saturday night, he is expected to win the election uncontested. Wilson drew just 26 percent, while other Republican candidates combined for about 15 percent.

While Landry, a Trump-backed Republican, was widely viewed as the favorite heading into Saturday, many political observers anticipated he would face Democrat Shawn Wilson in a November runoff.

Louisiana’s crime rates have skyrocketed over the past decade, and it became a significant issue in the campaign. The state’s largest metropolis and primary tourist destination, New Orleans, has descended into turmoil under the leadership of the far-left Democrat Mayor LaToya Cantrell. Landry has pledged to initiate a crackdown on crime and restore order.

Wilson positioned himself as a centrist with the capacity to work across the aisle, similar to how Bel Edwards had previously positioned himself. This time, however, this political strategy failed, and Louisiana voters sent a message that they were done with Democrat leadership.

The election system in Louisiana is unique, and Saturday’s vote is technically an open primary. However, if one candidate surpasses 50 percent, a victor is declared.

His strong performance on Saturday provides the Republican Party — and especially the party’s conservative, populist branch — momentum heading into November, when the party hopes to win in two other red-state gubernatorial elections, in Kentucky and Mississippi.

Landry will succeed Gov. John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic governor whose term has expired in the Deep South.

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Wilson, Landry’s principal opponent and a former secretary of transportation, sought to become Louisiana’s first Black statewide elected official since Reconstruction. Nonetheless, observers acknowledged the obstacles he confronted, particularly in terms of voter turnout.

“Democratic participation has been low,” pollster John Couvillon of Louisiana said earlier this week.

“Typically, early voting favors Democrats, but as of Saturday night, the Republicans have a cumulative five-vote advantage,” said Couvillon, who typically works with Republicans.

Low turnout among black voters, a key constituency for Democrats in the state, topped the list of warning signs.

By Melinda Davies
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