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Politics & Government

Edwards Wins Louisiana Governor's Race

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Ted Jackson
/
nola.com
John Bel Edwards celebrates his victory in race for Louisiana governor

State Rep. John Bel Edwards defeated U.S. Senator David Vitter Saturday night to become Louisiana's next governor.

Edwards, a state representative from Amite, received 56 percent of the vote in the runoff election.  He becomes the first Democrat to win a statewide office since 2008.

Edwards maintained his lead following the October 24th primary, where he topped the field of candidates with 40 percent of the vote going into the November 21 runoff.  

In his victory speech in New Orleans, Edwards told the crowd that the people of the state had chosen hope over scorn, over negativity in this campaign.  

He also expressed thanks to a former gubernatorial opponent, Republican Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne.  Edwards commended Dardenne, saying they stand together in wanting to put Louisiana first.

Earlier this month, Dardenne, who placed fourth in the primary, crossed party lines and endorsed Edwards.  Dardenne cited his disappointment with Vitter's negative attacks against both he and fellow Republican candidate Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle.  Angelle ran third in the October election. 

Following Saturday's result, Vitter told supporters he came up short in his bid for the state's highest office.  He also disclosed that he would not run for re-election as U.S. Senator.

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