Republican Jeff Landry wins the Louisiana governor’s race, reclaims office for GOP

Jeff Landry, a Republican backed by former President Donald Trump, has won the Louisiana governor’s race, helping the GOP reclaim the governorship after eight years.

The big win: Landry’s victory returns the governor’s office back to GOP control after eight years under Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards.
* Landry surpassed the needed majority votes, avoiding a predicted runoff under the state’s “jungle primary” system. The last time there wasn’t a gubernatorial runoff in Louisiana was in 2011 and 2007 with Bobby Jindal, a Republican.
* Landry stated that one of his top priorities as governor would be addressing crime in urban areas.
* This win highlights a significant shift in the political landscape in the Deep South with Edwards being the only Democratic governor in the region.

Landry’s Background: Landry had a high-profile tenure as attorney general before running for governor.
* Before starting his political career, Landry served 11 years in the Louisiana Army National Guard and has been a local police officer, sheriff’s deputy, and attorney.
* He has repeatedly clashed with Edwards on various state matters, including LGBTQ+ rights, state finances, and the death penalty. He has also put Louisiana in national fights, such as opposing Biden’s policies limiting oil and gas production and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
* Landry has been in the spotlight over his support of controversial Louisiana laws that include banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth, and a near-total abortion ban without exceptions for rape and incest cases.

The campaign and competitors: Landry enjoyed a strong lead and significant support throughout his campaign, despite facing criticisms.
* He was the early frontrunner, winning endorsements from high-profile Republicans — Trump and U.S. Rep Steve Scalise — and the state GOP.
* Despite facing political attacks from opponents on social media and in interviews, accusing him of bullying and backroom deals to gain support, Landry proceeded to win the race.
* Other gubernatorial candidates included GOP state Sen. Sharon Hewitt; Hunter Lundy, an independent attorney; Republican state Treasurer John Schroder; Stephen Waguespack, a Republican; and Shawn Wilson, the only major Democratic candidate.

The aftermath and other elections: Alongside the governor’s race, other statewide contests and ballots were considered.
* Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser won reelection Saturday night, but other races will be decided in November.
* The attorney general race advanced to a November runoff between Liz Baker Murrill, a Republican, and Lindsey Cheek, a Democrat.
* The secretary of state race advanced to a runoff between Nancy Landry, a Republican, and Gwen Collins-Greenup, a Democrat. The winner will be responsible for replacing Louisiana’s outdated voting machines.

View original article on NPR

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