Republicans now claim every governorship in the Deep South after Louisiana’s Jeff Landry bested a crowded field of candidates to retake the state’s mansion for the GOP.
This marks a major victory for the party as it replaces Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. He was prohibited from seeking reelection due to the Louisiana’s term limits.
Landry celebrated with a Saturday night speech. “Today’s election says that our state is united. It’s a wakeup call and it’s a message that everyone should hear loud and clear, that we the people of the state are going to expect more out of our government from here on out.”
A runoff was expected, but Landry avoided this entanglement by reaping over half the votes cast. There has been a runoff under Louisiana’s “jungle primary” system in every governor’s race since 2011.
This is the state’s procedure that places every candidate on the same ballot regardless of party. Every contender is herded together, and if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a runoff ensues between the two leading vote-getters.
#Breaking :Republican Jeff Landry has won the Louisiana Governors race and flipped the seat with 52 percent of the vote. Because it was a runoff state candidates needed at least 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff.
This is huge! Democrats held this seat and spent a lot of… pic.twitter.com/XXzlhi3bmr
— 🇺🇸Travis🇺🇸 (@Travis_in_Flint) October 15, 2023
Landry elevated the attorney general’s office during his time at the helm by championing conservative causes popular in the state. He stood firm against so-called “gender-affirming” treatments for minors and providing explicit materials to kids in libraries.
He also supported Louisiana’s abortion ban, drawing even further wrath from radical leftists.
Landry further countered President Joe Biden’s agenda on substantial issues such as COVID-19 vaccine mandates and limiting the nation’s energy production.
When sworn in, Landry faces the immediate challenge of fighting the state’s rampant violent crime issue. Louisiana currently has the nation’s second highest per capita murder rate, and part of his platform was for stronger action against crime and support for capital punishment.
Louisiana’s next governor is an established conservative who enjoys the support of former President Donald Trump.
While considered the favorite, many observers expected him to face a runoff next month against Democrat Shawn Wilson. But Republicans apparently dominated the early voting turnout and swept Landry into the governor’s mansion without the need for a contentious second round.
In November, a pair of southern races for governor will be decided in Kentucky and Mississippi.