Budget & future gubernatorial races among top 2018 political stories

January 03, 2018 - 9:17 am

2018 could be a volatile year in Louisiana politics. It’s a somewhat quiet year for elections, but UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says the Legislature and Governor John Bel Edwards have a long road facing them after the one cent sales tax falls off the books June 30th, leaving Louisiana with a one-billion-dollar deficit.

"I think that's going to be the top story, how the legislature finds a way in this adversarial partisan era to balance the budget." 
Even though the Governor’s election is nearly two years in the future, there has already been talk of possible opponents against Governor Edwards. Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham has already said he’s thinking about it and other potential GOP challengers including John Kennedy, Jeff Landry and Garret Graves. Cross says some want to see changes in the top state office.
"Clearly, Edwards in the only statewide elected Democratic official.  There's going to be a new GOP Party head coming in with Roger Villere stepping down. So I think there's going to be a lot of jockeying for the 2019 race."
The Louisiana Congressional delegation appears to be solid going into the mid-term elections this year. Cross feels 3rd District Congressman Clay Higgins faces the most opposition.
"Clay Higgins is going to get challenged from right and left, Democratic and Republican challengers.  He's riding on that Trump wave.  He may face some challenges.  If they're going to get him, this is the year to do it."

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