Republicans have reclaimed the Louisiana governor’s mansion for the first time in eight years after candidate Jeff Landry defeated a number of opponents. ABC News reports:
Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican backed by former President Donald Trump, has won the Louisiana governor’s race, holding off a crowded field of candidates.
The win is a major victory for the GOP as they reclaim the governor’s mansion for the first time in eight years. Landry will replace current Gov. John Bel Edwards, who was unable to seek reelection due to consecutive term limits. Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South.
“Today’s election says that our state is united,” Landry said during his victory speech Saturday night. “It’s a wake up call and it’s a message that everyone should hear loud and clear, that we the people in this state are going to expect more out of our government from here on out.”
By garnering more than half of the votes, Landry avoided an expected runoff under the state’s “jungle primary” system. The last time there wasn’t a gubernatorial runoff in Louisiana was in 2011 and 2007, when Bobby Jindal, a Republican, won the state’s top position.
The governor-elect, who celebrated with supporters during a watch party in Broussard, Louisiana, described the election as “historic.”
Landry, 52, has raised the profile of attorney general since taking office in 2016. He has used his office to champion conservative policy positions. More recently, Landry has been in the spotlight over his involvement and staunch support of Louisiana laws that have drawn much debate, including banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender youths, the state’s near-total abortion ban that doesn’t have exceptions for cases of rape and incest, and a law restricting youths’ access to “sexually explicit material” in libraries, which opponents fear will target LGBTQ+ books.
Landry has repeatedly clashed with Edwards over matters in the state, including LGBTQ rights, state finances and the death penalty. However the Republican has also repeatedly put Louisiana in national fights, including over President Joe Biden’s policies that limit oil and gas production and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
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