BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Louisiana’s voters have reelected Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards to a second term, deep in the heart of the conservative South. Saturday’s election outcome shocked Republicans who hoped to reclaim the seat on the strength of President Donald Trump’s popularity.
The moderate Edwards cobbled together enough cross-party support with his focus on bipartisan, state-specific issues to defeat Republican businessman Eddie Rispone. Edwards received about 51% of the vote.
Trump made three trips to Louisiana to rally against Edwards.
But the president’s interest in the race not only motivated conservative Republicans, but also powered a surge in anti-Trump and black voter turnout that helped boost Edwards.
Coming after a defeat in the Kentucky governor’s race, the Louisiana result seems certain to rattle Republicans as they head into the 2020 presidential election.