Quantcast
Connect with us

Vitter overcomes scandals to squeak into runoff election for Louisiana governor

Published

on

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – Louisiana voters on Saturday threw support behind Democrat John Bel Edwards in his bid to succeed Governor Bobby Jindal, but Edwards will have to face off with Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter in a Nov. 21 runoff when no candidate polled more than 50 percent.

Edwards, the minority leader in the state House, carried 40 percent to Vitter’s 23 percent, after a campaign in which Vitter’s opponents hammered on a prostitution scandal that has haunted him for several years.

ADVERTISEMENT

Saturday’s vote was an “open primary,” pitting candidates from all parties on a single ballot. The top two finishers compete in the runoff, mandated when no one won more than 50 percent.

“We are going to win this race,” Edwards promised as he addressed supporters hours after the polls closed.

“For eight years our people have been sacrificed on the altar of Bobby Jindal’s ambition,” he said referencing the current governor’s consuming and much-criticized quest for the White House.

Taking aim at his runoff opponent, Edwards added: “Vitter is Jindal on steroids.”

Edwards promised to fight for increased funding for higher education, expanded Medicaid coverage and a higher minimum wage.

ADVERTISEMENT

Speaking to supporters a short time later, Vitter also promised to improve state government, but avoided direct criticism of Jindal.

He continued to blast Edwards as a pawn of President Barack Obama, saying “John Bel Edwards personally re-nominated President Obama in the Democratic National Convention.”

Choosing Edwards “would be the same as voting to make Barack Obama governor of Louisiana,” Vitter said.

ADVERTISEMENT

He promised that as governor he would put more money into higher education, focusing funding on early childhood education and raising teachers’ pay.

With even the traditionally conservative region of north Louisiana largely backing Edwards, Vitter’s support appeared to have eroded in recent weeks as his opponents hammered on a prostitution scandal.

ADVERTISEMENT

Vitter admitted in 2007 to “a very serious sin” after disclosures that his phone number had appeared on the list of clients of so-called “D.C. Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s escort agency.

Coming in third with 20 percent on Saturday was Republican Scott Angelle, who serves in an elected post on the state’s utility regulatory board. Fourth went to Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, a Republican, with 15 percent of the vote.

Outgoing governor Jindal is seeking the 2016 Republican nomination for the White House, but poll numbers for his candidacy have stagnated in the low single digits.

ADVERTISEMENT

(This story has been refiled to fix typo in “Barack” in 10th paragraph)

(Editing by Chris Michaud)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s next 100 days will dictate whether he can be re-elected or not — here’s why

Published

on

According to CNN pollster-in-residence Harry Enten, Donald Trump's next 100 days -- which could include an impeachment trial in the Senate -- will hold the key to whether he will remain president in 2020.

As Eten explains in a column for CNN, "His [Trump's] approval rating has been consistently low during his first term. Yet his supporters could always point out that approval ratings before an election year have not historically been correlated with reelection success. But by mid-March of an election year, approval ratings, though, become more predictive. Presidents with low approval ratings in mid-March of an election year tend to lose, while those with strong approval ratings tend to win in blowouts and those with middling approval ratings usually win by small margins."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

After Trump: No free pass for Republicans — they own this nightmare

Published

on

With the impeachment inquiry leveling up this month as public hearings begin, and with an election that might actually be the end of Donald Trump now less than a year away, the campaign to let Trump's Republican allies — even the most villainous offenders — move on and pretend this never happened is already underway.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Sadly, the clearest articulation of the let-bygones-be-bygones mentality has come from a Democrat — unsurprisingly, former Vice President Joe Biden.Biden, who is still, somehow, the frontrunner in Democratic primary polling, spoke at a chi-chi fundraiser on Wednesday, and dropped this pearl of wisdom: "With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany."

Continue Reading
 

Elections 2016

As climate crisis-fueled fires rage, fears grow of an ‘uninhabitable’ California

Published

on

As activist Bill McKibben put it, "We've simply got to slow down the climate crisis."

With wildfires raging across California on Wednesday—and with portions of the state living under an unprecedented "Extreme Red Flag Warning" issued by the National Weather Service due to the severe conditions—some climate experts are openly wondering if this kind of harrowing "new normal" brought on by the climate crisis could make vast regions of the country entirely uninhabitable.

Continue Reading