What now? Louisiana GOP loses top contender for governor

December 04, 2018 - 2:27 am

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — By sidestepping the Louisiana governor's race, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy denied Republicans a popular, high-profile candidate to pit against Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards.

Kennedy's announcement that he won't challenge Edwards also renews speculation about whether the GOP can rally around one main contender in the 2019 election.

Republicans are trying to unseat the only Democratic governor in the Deep South. Louisiana GOP Chairman Louis Gurvich says he's "not in panic mode" about Kennedy's decision.

Beyond Kennedy, U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, Attorney General Jeff Landry and U.S. Rep. Garret Graves have said they won't run against Edwards.

The only announced GOP contender is wealthy businessman Eddie Rispone, a first-time candidate who's willing to self-finance his campaign.

Also considering the race are U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and state Sen. Sharon Hewitt.

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