It’s no secret that Governor John Bel Edwards has enjoyed substantial crossover support from notable conservatives such as Newell Normand, former sheriff of Jefferson Parish, and former Republican primary rivals, Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle. That’s right. Despite the senior Republican Senator David Vitter running for Governor initially against Governor John Bel Edwards, both Republican primary rivals ended up endorsing the Democratic candidate, John Bel Edwards, which resulted in then candidate John Bel Edwards receiving significant Republican crossover support to secure victory and become Louisiana’s first Democratic Governor since Governor Blanco.
With Trump at the helm campaigning for Republican candidates in Louisiana and with rival candidate, Congressman Ralph Abraham immediately endorsing his Republican rival, Eddie Rispone upon conceding the primary election, Governor Edwards’ ability to achieve the same level of support from Republicans as he did in his initial election bid was brought into question. Not so fast.
Instead of Republicans rallying around the anointed Trump Republican candidate, there have been calls from prominent local conservatives such as Newell Normand for Republicans nationally to stay out of our election. In addition, John Bel Edwards has again enjoyed the support from prominent conservative groups such as the International Police Union and Louisiana Sheriff’s Association as well as from several prominent Republican Louisiana legislators who have worked with Governor Edwards on a bipartisan basis to turn a historical $2 billion dollar deficit into a $500 million surplus.
Oh, wait —what about Congressman Ralph Abraham’s endorsement of Eddie Rispone upon conceding the primary election? It appeared after that night, Abraham would hit the campaign trail with Trump and Rispone to rally support for Rispone’s candidacy. Well needless to say, that hasn’t happened. In fact, just yesterday, November 14, according to a report from The Pursuit of Happiness Radio, Governor Edwards has received financial support from close family members of Ralph Abraham, including a $5000 maximum allowable donation to Governor Edwards’ re-election bid.
Despite the Republican support for Governor Edwards’ candidacy, one thing remains clear: recent polling indicates that this race will go down to the wire, with polls showing Governor Edwards maintaining a slim lead within the margin of error just one day before Election Day. On the other hand, despite Donald Trump’s “best” efforts, it’s also clear that Louisiana voters are rejecting efforts from the national Republican Party to nationalize this election. Governor Edwards, a pro-second amendment, pro-life and fiscally conservative Governor still enjoys favorable approval ratings above 50 percent, but we will soon find out whether the approval from voters, the Governor’s accomplishments in the last four years, and the ongoing support from prominent Republicans will carry Governor Edwards across the finish line once again. Election Day is tomorrow, November 16, 2019.
Scott Ploof is Publisher and Founder of Big Easy Magazine.