In an astonishing electoral recovery, the Republican Party has flipped the Louisiana governor’s race in a feat once thought unthinkable in the Pelican State.
For the first time in eight years, Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry has won the governor’s race for Louisiana, becoming the state’s first Republican governor since 2015, before President Trump won the White House.
Due to gubernatorial term limits set by the Louisiana Constitution, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards could not run for another term and the state of Louisiana had to choose another state leader once again.
Louisiana law states any candidate with under 50% of the vote must take part in a runoff election to determine the winner between the two top candidates.
Attorney General Landry was able to gain more than 50% of the vote, halting any plans of a runoff election. For context, the most recent runoff election for Louisiana governor was in 2011, 12 years ago.
Adding to the impressive victory, Landry was able to beat out 16 other primary candidates, including Democrats, other Republicans and Independents. Initially, this “jungle primary” was speculated to be a difficult obstacle for Landry to beat, but the Attorney General and Louisiana subverted expectations.
“The large number of Republicans in the Louisiana race was expected to make it difficult for Landry to gain a majority in the first round, instead forcing a one-on-one runoff with the leading Democratic candidate, former state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson. But Landry, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, consolidated support,” according to NBC News.
Landry’s stances on major contentious issues in America also contributed to his majority electoral gain in the race.
The Republican Attorney General’s opinions on issues such as President Biden’s energy policies, abortion bans and other cultural points of interest propelled Landry to gain more than 51% of the vote.
“Landry, who has held the attorney general position in Louisiana since 2016, used the office to champion conservative policy positions.
“He has been in the spotlight for his support of the state’s ban on gender transition medical care for transgender youth and Louisiana’s near-total abortion ban…The governor-elect repeatedly clashed with Edwards over state matters, including LGBT rights, state finances, and the death penalty. Landry has also engaged with President Joe Biden’s policies, blasting those that limit oil and gas production and COVID-19 vaccine mandates,” according to the Washington Examiner.
Another hot issue Landry aired was his desire to curb city crime in Louisiana:
“Landry has made clear that one of his top priorities as governor would be addressing crime in urban areas. The Republican has pushed a tough-on-crime rhetoric, calling for more ‘transparency’ in the justice system and continuing to support capital punishment,” via Spectrum News NY1.
The gubernatorial flip also marks as first on the GOP’s list of potential governor election wins this fall.
The Republican Party hopes to potentially turn the Kentucky governor’s seat red as current Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear seeks reelection into his second term. Additionally, the GOP aims to maintain its position in Mississippi as Republican Gov. Tate Reeves seeks a second-term reelection bid.
Many Republicans across the nation hope this major win represents GOP solidarity and sends a strong message, especially when considering Landry’s win roots out the only sitting Democratic governor in the Deep South.
“‘Today’s election says that our state is united…It’s a wake-up call and it’s a message that everyone should hear loud and clear, that we the people in this state are going to expect more out of our government from here on out,’” according to the Washington Examiner via the Associated Press.