Report from Louisiana: Spinning the 2019 Gubernatorial Race

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Report from Louisiana: Spinning the 2019 Gubernatorial Race

By: Pat Austin

SHREVE­PORT – The spin machines for the 2019 Louisiana
governor’s race is hard at work.

Already in the ring on the Repub­li­can side are Con­gress­man
Ralph Abra­ham and busi­ness­man Eddie Rispone, and a cou­ple of weeks ago, to no
one’s sur­prise, Gov­er­nor John Bel Edwards has announced his re-​election bid.

Local polit­i­cal pun­dit Jeff
Sadow sums up Gov­er­nor Edwards’s tenure this way
:

Hav­ing gov­erned as a lib­eral in a red state, the Louisiana Demo­c­rat faces a choppy path in Octo­ber to another four years. Even when watered down by a Republican-​led Leg­is­la­ture, his poli­cies over the past three years have pro­duced tax hikes and 40 per­cent higher state spend­ing. Louisiana has one of the worst economies in the coun­try with almost no net new jobs cre­ated.

In his own announce­ment, Edwards
says:

Under Gov. Edwards’ lead­er­ship, Louisiana has:

• Passed a bipar­ti­san bud­get com­pro­mise that took us from record deficits to sur­pluses and sta­ble fund­ing for our crit­i­cal priorities.

Secured more than 100 major eco­nomic devel­op­ment projects, nearly 30,000 new jobs, and $30.7 bil­lion worth of cap­i­tal investments.

Had 15 straight months of year-​over-​year job growth, with an econ­omy that’s larger than ever before.

• Expanded Med­ic­aid to 480,000 work­ing Louisianans, cut­ting the unin­sured rate in half, keep­ing rural hos­pi­tals open, and sav­ing lives.

Brought together law enforce­ment, the faith com­mu­nity, Repub­li­cans and Democ­rats to pass a pack­age of bipar­ti­san crim­i­nal jus­tice reform laws used as a model by Pres­i­dent Trump.

It really is all about the spin, isn’t it?

Nei­ther Rispone nor Abra­ham have much name recog­ni­tion; Rispone
is more hard-​core con­ser­v­a­tive while Abra­ham is more of an estab­lish­ment
Repub­li­can. Cur­rently there are no big,
rec­og­niz­able names step­ping up to chal­lenge Edwards, but with qual­i­fy­ing open until
August that could change, although most think it unlikely.

Edwards is fairly pop­u­lar and one
poll has him with a 49% approval rat­ing
although that poll was heav­ily
slanted to Democ­rats (67%).

If you are not an Edwards fan, the out­look is grim, but at
least the spin­ning will be fun.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreve­port and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cam­mie Henry and her Cir­cle at Mel­rose Plan­ta­tion. Fol­low her on Insta­gram @patbecker25 and Twit­ter @paustin110.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – The spin machines for the 2019 Louisiana governor’s race is hard at work.

Already in the ring on the Republican side are Congressman Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone, and a couple of weeks ago, to no one’s surprise, Governor John Bel Edwards has announced his re-election bid.

Local political pundit Jeff Sadow sums up Governor Edwards’s tenure this way:

Having governed as a liberal in a red state, the Louisiana Democrat faces a choppy path in October to another four years. Even when watered down by a Republican-led Legislature, his policies over the past three years have produced tax hikes and 40 percent higher state spending. Louisiana has one of the worst economies in the country with almost no net new jobs created.

In his own announcement, Edwards says:

Under Gov. Edwards’ leadership, Louisiana has:

•    Passed a bipartisan budget compromise that took us from record deficits to surpluses and stable funding for our critical priorities.

•    Secured more than 100 major economic development projects, nearly 30,000 new jobs, and $30.7 billion worth of capital investments.

•    Had 15 straight months of year-over-year job growth, with an economy that’s larger than ever before.

•    Expanded Medicaid to 480,000 working Louisianans, cutting the uninsured rate in half, keeping rural hospitals open, and saving lives.  

    Brought together law enforcement, the faith community, Republicans and Democrats to pass a package of bipartisan criminal justice reform laws used as a model by President Trump.

It really is all about the spin, isn’t it?

Neither Rispone nor Abraham have much name recognition; Rispone is more hard-core conservative while Abraham is more of an establishment Republican.  Currently there are no big, recognizable names stepping up to challenge Edwards, but with qualifying open until August that could change, although most think it unlikely.

Edwards is fairly popular and one poll has him with a 49% approval rating although that poll was heavily slanted to Democrats (67%).

If you are not an Edwards fan, the outlook is grim, but at least the spinning will be fun.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.