Republican Jeff Landry Wins the Louisiana Governor’s Race

Republican Jeff Landry Wins the Louisiana Governor’s Race – Jeff Landry, a Republican supported by former President Donald Trump, has emerged victorious in the Louisiana governor’s race, fending off a competitive array of contenders. This triumph signifies a significant achievement for the GOP, marking their return to the governor’s mansion after an eight-year hiatus.

Landry, will succeed the incumbent Governor, John Bel Edwards, who was unable to seek reelection due to consecutive term limits. As the sole Democratic governor in the Deep South, Edwards has held a unique position in the region. Since his election as attorney general in 2015, Landry has significantly elevated the profile of his office and has been a strong advocate for conservative policy stances.

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In recent times, Landry has gained considerable attention due to his active involvement and unwavering endorsement of controversial Louisiana laws. These include the prohibition of gender-affirming medical care for transgender youths, a near-total abortion ban without exceptions for cases of rape and incest, and a law that restricts youths’ access to sexually explicit material in libraries, which opponents fear may target LGBTQ+ literature. 

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Landry secured more than half of the votes, enabling him to avoid a runoff in the state’s “jungle primary” system. Landry has had numerous conflicts with Edwards on various state matters, ranging from LGBTQ rights, state finances, to the death penalty. However, as a Republican, he has also consistently placed Louisiana in national controversies, such as opposing President Joe Biden’s policies that restrict oil and gas production and enforce COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Landry’s political career began with a two-year stint on Capitol Hill starting in 2011, representing Louisiana’s 3rd US Congressional District. Prior to his political endeavors, he dedicated 11 years to the Louisiana Army National Guard, served as a local police officer, worked as a sheriff’s deputy, and practiced as an attorney.

Throughout the gubernatorial election season, Landry held the status of an early frontrunner, securing endorsements from prominent Republicans, including former President Trump and US Rep Steve Scalise, who was nominated to become the next House speaker. He also received an early and somewhat controversial endorsement from the state GOP.

Furthermore, Landry has maintained a significant lead in fundraising compared to other candidates in the race. Landry has emphasized that one of his primary objectives as governor would be to tackle urban crime. He has adopted a staunch stance on law and order, advocating for increased “transparency” in the justice system and maintaining his support for the capital punishment.

Louisiana ranks second in the nation for its per capita murder rate. During his campaign, Landry encountered political criticism from rivals on social media and during interviews, where he was labeled a bully and faced allegations of engaging in behind-the-scenes agreements to secure support. He also faced criticism for his limited participation in major televised debates, attending only one of them. 

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Other gubernatorial candidates included GOP state Sen. Sharon Hewitt, independent Lake Charles-based attorney Hunter Lundy, Republican state Treasurer John Schroder, former head of a powerful business group and former senior aide to then-Gov. Bobby Jindal, Stephen Waguespack, and Shawn Wilson, the former head of Louisiana’s Transportation and Development Department, who was the main Democratic candidate.

The election ballot on Saturday also featured statewide contests for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and treasurer, along with four ballot measures. One particularly watched race was the contest for attorney general, a position holding the highest legal authority in the state’s executive branch. Liz Baker Murrill, a Republican currently working at the Attorney General’s Office, and Lindsey Cheek, a Democrat and trial attorney, have advanced to a November runoff.

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