Trump-backed candidate wins Louisiana governor’s race


Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican with strong ties to former president Donald Trump, won his state’s gubernatorial race on Saturday night — a major victory for the GOP in a southern state that has been run by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards for the last eight years.

Landry received nearly 52 percent of the votes among a crowded field of candidates in the state’s open primary. Under this system, all candidates, regardless of party, run in the same election.

If no candidate had received the majority of the vote, the two top candidates would compete in a runoff under Louisiana law. But because Landry did receive more than 50 percent, he fended off a second round and is Louisiana governor-elect.

Louisiana governor primary election results

A staunch supporter of Trump and a hard-line Republican, Landry ran his campaign on a tough-on-crime platform and has consistently pushed conservative policies in the state, including a ban on gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth and a near-total abortion ban. The state’s contentious abortion ban has no exemptions for rape or incest.

Landry also was among the 19 state attorneys general who signed a letter in June demanding that the Biden administration allow their offices access to information about residents who received gender-affirming or abortion care in other states.

Edwards could not run again because of term limits. Democratic candidate and former Louisiana transportation secretary Shawn Wilson was the second finisher in the race, receiving slightly more than 25 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Louisiana secretary of state’s office.

While seven other Republicans ran for the governor’s office, Landry received Trump’s endorsement in the race, as well as the backing of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), a stalwart of Louisiana Republican politics.

On Saturday, Landry, 52, thanked those who backed him, saying that his election is a sign that his “state is united and it’s a wake-up call.”

“It’s a message that everyone should hear loud and clear that we the people in this state are going to expect more out of our government from here on,” he said.

Edwards has clashed with Landry repeatedly on issues including LGBTQ rights and the death penalty. On Saturday night, Edwards congratulated his soon-to-be successor, adding that Landry “ran a winning campaign focused on uniting the people of Louisiana across political and social divides and addressing important kitchen table issues.”

“In my experience, that’s the best way to govern,” Edwards said in a statement. “A smooth transition of power following an election is a core tenet of American democracy. My staff and I will ensure the incoming administration has every opportunity to be ready on day one.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is the Democratic governor President Trump scorned before he praised

Landry has served as Louisiana attorney general since 2016. Before that, he represented the state’s 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Landry’s win marks a major victory for the Republican Party, as it will now take back the governor’s mansion in one of the few states in the Deep South run by Democrats. Edwards gained much national attention after his surprise victory in 2015 after two rounds in the gubernatorial race.


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