The 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election will be decided by a runoff election on November 16 after none of the candidates achieved more than 50% of the vote in the state’s gubernatorial primary.
Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards won a plurality with 46.6% of the vote in October 12’s primary, but it was not enough to secure him outright victory. Edwards will face Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, who received 27.4% of the vote, in November’s runoff.
Despite Edwards’ plurality, President Donald Trump tweeted a congratulations to both the state of Louisiana and Rispone.
Congratulations to the Great State of Louisiana. A big night. You will soon have a new and wonderful Governor, @EddieRispone. Your Taxes and Car Insurance Payments will go DOWN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2019
“Congratulations to the Great State of Louisiana. A big night. You will soon have a new and wonderful Governor, Eddie Rispone,” the president said.
Louisiana operates a jungle primary system for its gubernatorial elections. Under a jungle primary, all candidates, even ones from the same party, appear on the ballot together. If one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, that candidates wins the election outright. If no candidate receives more than 50%, the top two candidates participate in a runoff election to determine who will become governor.
Two major Republican candidates ran against Edwards: businessman Eddie Rispone and Rep. Ralph Abraham. Abraham gained national attention after his campaign aired an ad proclaiming that there were only two genders. Trump has campaigned for both candidates, focusing on forcing a runoff against Edwards rather than endorsing a single candidate.
Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the deep South. Edwards has taken a moderate political stance in the Republican stronghold, signing a bipartisan abortion bill in May that banned abortions after a heartbeat can be detected in a fetus. He currently has an approval rating of 50% and disapproval rate of 32%. (RELATED: Assault On Roe Begins? Supreme Court To Hear Louisiana Abortion Dispute)