Democrat John Bel Edwards’ gubernatorial victory comes after US President Donald Trump visited Louisiana three times in five weeks to support Republican hopeful Eddie Rispone in the runoff campaign.
Louisiana Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards has managed to win a second term by beating Republican challenger Eddie Rispone by 1.4 percentage points on Saturday.
This narrow win means that Edwards will remain the only Democratic governor in the US’ Deep South over the next four years.
“Our shared love for Louisiana is always more important than the partisan differences that sometimes divide us. And as for the president, God bless his heart,” Edwards told supporters.
A wealthy businessman and long-time Republican donor, Rispone, in turn, admitted that “I am disappointed, if I am being very honest.”
“By the way, can we give President Trump a round of applause? That man loves America and he loves Louisiana. He came down here three times specifically to try and help us,” he added.
The remarks came hours after Trump went on Twitter, urging voters to cast ballots in favour of Rispone.
Louisiana, 3 hours left, get out and Vote for @EddieRispone for Governor. Lower taxes and much more!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2019
Over the past five weeks, he has visited three Louisiana rallies to try and add to ousting Edwards.
During a rally in Bossier City on Thursday, Trump said that electing Rispone would help local Republicans to send “a message to the corrupt Democrats in Washington”.
“You’ve got to give me a big win, OK?” Trump told the rally at the time. Earlier, the Republican National Committee spent $2 million to defeat Edwards, but to no avail.
Even though he faces possible Republican super majorities in both chambers of the Louisiana legislature during his second term, Edwards voiced hope that he would find common ground with lawmakers.
“Practically every major thing I’ve done as governor was done on a bipartisan basis,” he pointed out.