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Edwards, Vitter Make Runoff In Governor's Race

Robert McClendon
Edwards led field with 40 percent of vote in Saturday's gubernatorial election

State Representative John Bel Edwards saw his status as the top Democratic candidate carry him to lead the field in Saturday's gubernatorial election.  He will face Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter in a November 21st runoff for governor.

Edwards gathered 40 percent of the vote in a race where the most polls showed him paired with one of three major Republican challengers in a runoff scenario.  

Saturday's rain and cloudy skies seemed to exemplify the end of a stormy campaign among Vitter, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, and Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne,  The three Republicans took to the airwaves with increasing negative attack ads in the waning days of the campaign.  Election returns showed Vitter finishing a distant second, with 23 percent, Angelle at 19 percent, and Dardenne with 15 percent.

The runoff is already showing where the emphasis of the campaign lies with each of the candidates.  In his victory speech, Edwards referred to Vitter as just another Bobby Jindal.  Vitter addressed his supporters saying to elect Edwards would be like electing Barack Obama as governor of Louisiana.

Both Edwards and Vitter will have to reach out to gain voters who supported other candidates.  Angelle has not indicated if he would endorse an opponent in the runoff.  Dardenne says he plans no endorsement either candidate.