Thu. Jul 25th, 2024
Jeff Landry

BATON ROUGE, La. — Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican supported by former President Donald Trump, has secured the Louisiana governor’s race, prevailing over a crowded field of contenders.

The triumph marks a significant win for the GOP, as they regain control of the governor’s mansion after an eight-year gap. Jeff Landry will take over from the incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards, who was ineligible for re-election due to consecutive term limits. Edwards stands as the lone Democratic governor in the Deep South.

“Today’s election indicates the unity of our state,” Jeff Landry declared during his victory speech on Saturday night.

The last time Louisiana witnessed a gubernatorial runoff was in 2011 and 2007, when Republican Bobby Jindal secured the state’s top position.

The governor-elect, who celebrated with supporters at a watch party in Broussard, Louisiana, characterized the election as “historic.”

Aged 52, Landry has raised the profile of the attorney general’s office since assuming the position in 2016. He has utilized his position to champion conservative policy stances. Recently, Jeff Landry has drawn attention for his involvement and unwavering support for Louisiana laws that have sparked considerable debate. These include measures such as the prohibition of gender-affirming medical care for transgender youths, the state’s near-total ban on abortion without exceptions for cases of rape and incest, and a law restricting youths’ access to “sexually explicit material” in libraries, which opponents fear might target LGBTQ+ literature.

Additionally, the Republican has thrust Louisiana into national disputes, particularly regarding President Joe Biden’s policies that restrict oil and gas production, as well as COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Before his political career, Landry spent two years on Capitol Hill, representing Louisiana’s 3rd U.S. Congressional District, starting in 2011. Prior to that, he served 11 years in the Louisiana Army National Guard, worked as a local police officer, sheriff’s deputy, and attorney.

Throughout the gubernatorial election season, Jeff Landry had been considered the early frontrunner, receiving endorsements from prominent Republicans like Trump and U.S. Rep Steve Scalise. He also secured a controversial early endorsement from the state GOP. Moreover, Landry maintained a significant fundraising advantage over other candidates throughout the race.

Jeff Landry has emphasized that one of his top priorities as governor will be addressing crime in urban areas. He has adopted a tough-on-crime stance, calling for greater “transparency” in the justice system and continuing to advocate for capital punishment. Louisiana currently has the second-highest murder rate per capita in the nation.

During the campaign, Jeff Landry faced political attacks from opponents on social media and in interviews, with some labeling him as a bully and making allegations of backroom deals to gain support. He also faced criticism for participating in only one of the major televised debates.

Among the other gubernatorial candidates on the ballot were GOP state Sen. Sharon Hewitt, independent candidate Hunter Lundy, Republican state Treasurer John Schroder, Stephen Waguespack, a former senior aide to then-Gov. Jindal, and Shawn Wilson, the former head of Louisiana’s Transportation and Development Department and the primary Democratic candidate.

Wilson, who emerged as the runner-up, conceded during his speech, revealing that he had called Landry to congratulate him on his victory. During their conversation, the Democrat urged the governor-elect to uphold Medicaid expansion, increase teacher salaries, and prioritize education for children.

While Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser secured re-election on Saturday night, the results for other races will be determined in November.

One closely watched race is that for attorney general, the position holding the highest legal authority in the state’s executive branch. Liz Baker Murrill, a Republican currently working at the Attorney General’s Office, and Lindsey Cheek, a Democratic trial attorney, have both advanced to a November runoff.

Similarly, the state treasurer race will see John Fleming, a Republican, and Dustin Granger, a Democrat, competing in the runoff.

In the secretary of state race, First Assistant Secretary of State Nancy Landry, a Republican, and Gwen Collins-Greenup, a Democratic attorney, will also move to a runoff. The winner in November will be tasked with replacing Louisiana’s outdated voting machines, which do not produce critical paper ballots to ensure accurate election results.

The ballot included hundreds of additional localized races, encompassing all 39 Senate seats and 105 House seats, although a significant number of incumbents are running unopposed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *