Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry has won the Louisiana governor’s race, in a major victory for the GOP as they reclaim the governor’s mansion for the first time in eight years. Landry succeeds current Gov. John Bel Edwards, who was unable to seek reelection due to consecutive term limits. Landry, 52, garnered more than half of the votes and avoided an expected runoff under the state’s “jungle primary” system. The last time there wasn’t a gubernatorial runoff in Louisiana was in 2011 and 2007, when Bobby Jindal, a Republican, won the state’s top position.
Landry — who was backed by former President Donald Trump and U.S. Rep Steve Scalise — said during his victory speech: “Today’s election says that our state is united. It’s a wake up call and 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 out.”. The governor-elect celebrated with supporters during a watch party in Broussard, Louisiana, and described the election as “historic.”
Landry has used his office to champion conservative policy positions, and repeatedly clashed with Edwards over matters in the state, including LGBTQ rights, state finances and the death penalty. He 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.
Landry has said that one of his top priorities as governor would be addressing crime in urban areas, pushing a ‘tough-on-crime’ rhetoric, calling for more “transparency” in the justice system and continuing to support capital punishment. Louisiana has the nation’s second-highest murder rate per capita.
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