Republican Jeff Landry Wins Louisiana Governorship, Ending Democrats' Two-Term Hold

Noah Silverbrook

Updated Sunday, October 15, 2023 at 2:30 AM CDT

Republican Jeff Landry Wins Louisiana Governorship, Ending Democrats' Two-Term Hold

Republican state Attorney General Jeff Landry emerged victorious in the Louisiana governorship race, securing over 51% of the vote in an all-party primary. This marks the end of the Democrats' two-term hold on the governorship. The race featured 16 candidates from different parties, including notable Republicans like state Treasurer John Schroder and former state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, the leading Democratic candidate.

Landry's win can be attributed to his strong endors****ts, including former President Donald Trump and several elected Republicans such as Sen. Bill Cassidy and Reps. Steve Scalise, Clay Higgins, and Mike Johnson. Wilson, the leading Democratic candidate, came in second place with 26% of the vote, while the third-place Republican candidate, Stephen Waguespack, received 6% of the vote.

Landry's campaign invested heavily in TV ads, spending over $9 million, making him the top fundraiser in the race. The Republican Governors Association also played a significant role, spending over $4.7 million targeting Wilson on the airwaves.

As Landry succeeds Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is term-limited, this victory means that Louisiana, a traditionally red state where Trump won by almost 19 points in 2020, will have its fourth Republican governor since the end of Reconstruction.

In his victory speech, Landry emphasized unity and called for higher expectations from the government. He is known for his support of the state's near-total ban on abortion and his championing of conservative policy positions. Landry has raised the profile of attorney general since taking office in 2016.

One of Landry's top priorities as governor will be addressing crime in urban areas, as Louisiana currently has the nation's second-highest murder rate per capita. His clash with Edwards over LGBTQ rights, state finances, the death penalty, and President Joe Biden's policies highlights their ideological differences.

The Louisiana election, which took place on Sat***ay, was an all-party primary, allowing Landry to avoid a runoff by securing more than 50% of the vote. This outcome surprised many, as most expected Landry and Wilson to advance to a runoff.

Landry's win is seen as an early marker of Republican voters' enthusiasm heading into the 2024 elections. It is also historic for the Republican Party, as they reclaim the governor's mansion after eight years.

The race for other statewide positions, such as attorney general, treasurer, and secretary of state, will go to runoffs in November. Additionally, there are hundreds of localized races, including all 39 Senate seats and 105 House seats, with a significant number of incumbents running unopposed.

Overall, Landry's win in the Louisiana governorship race marks a significant shift in the state's political landscape and sets the stage for future Republican victories.

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