After eight years of Democrat control, the governor’s seat in Louisiana will be held by a Republican.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry won the race to become the Bayou State’s next governor.
Landry, 52, reached the 50% threshold in Saturday’s race to avoid a runoff.
The Trump-backed candidate overcame Democrat Shawn Wilson and a crowded field of candidates to secure the victory.
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) October 15, 2023
“Thankful beyond belief. I’m ready to get to work for Louisiana!” Landry said.
Thankful beyond belief. I’m ready to get to work for Louisiana!
— Jeff Landry (@JeffLandry) October 15, 2023
Currently, Louisiana has the only Democrat governor in the Deep South.
Gov. John Bel Edwards cannot seek re-election due to term limits.
Per CBS News:
Landry, 52, has raised the profile of attorney general since being elected in 2015. He has used his office to champion conservative policy positions. More recently, Landry has been in the spotlight over his involvement and staunch support of Louisiana laws that have drawn much debate, including banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender youths, the state’s near-total abortion ban that doesn’t have exceptions for cases of rape and incest, and a law restricting youths’ access to “sexually explicit material” in libraries, which opponents fear will target LGBTQ+ books.
By garnering more than half of the votes, Landry avoided a runoff under the state’s “jungle primary” system.
Landry has repeatedly clashed with Edwards over matters in the state, including LGBTQ rights, state finances and the death penalty. However the Republican has also repeatedly put Louisiana in national fights, including over President Joe Biden’s policies that limit oil and gas production and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Landry spent two years on Capitol Hill, beginning in 2011, where he represented Louisiana’s 3rd U.S. Congressional District. Prior to his political career, Landry served 11 years in the Louisiana Army National Guard, was a local police officer, sheriff’s deputy and attorney.
During the gubernatorial election season, Landry had long been considered the early frontrunner, winning the endorsement of high profile Republicans — Trump and U.S. Rep Steve Scalise, who was nominated to be the next House speaker on Wednesday — and a controversial early endorsement from the state GOP. In addition, Landry has enjoyed a sizable fundraising advantage over the rest of the field throughout the race.
Political analysts wonder if Landry’s victory is the first sign of a 2024 red wave.
#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
Fox News added:
As the first major test for Republicans and Democrats ahead of the 2024 elections, the outcome could signal momentum for the GOP going into this year’s remaining races, as well as the presidential election year.
Wilson received an endorsement from Bel Edwards early in the race, and told Fox News Digital earlier this week that his experience working across the aisle showed he had the ability to govern over a state made up largely of conservatives despite being a Democrat. Bel Edwards served two terms and maintained an above-water popularity under the same circumstances.
However, Landry told Fox in an interview early on in the race that it was time to end Democrat rule over the state, and ran on a platform of bringing crime in Louisiana under control, as well as improving Louisiana’s standing in areas like education and the economy compared to other Southern states.