GOP operative: Louisiana party wants to settle on one candidate

January 09, 2019 - 4:58 pm

( - After a 2015 GOP gubernatorial blood bath that saw the ascendance of The South’s only Democratic governor, Louisiana Republican operative Scott Wilfong said the party is taking a hard look in 2019 at throwing their weight behind just one candidate before the October open primary. Wilfong says the party will be discussing that question, and soon.

“We’re meeting in two weeks actually, we’ve already got a plan to look ahead and settle on one candidate ultimately.”

Louisiana operates a “jungle” primary where candidates from all parties are pitted against one and other, with the top two making the run-off. GOP state leaders have requested closed primaries where each party sends their winning candidate to a general election, but Wilfong says that’s yet to materialize.

“Unfortunately the legislature will not give us the closed primaries that we have been asking for, so we are going to try to do what we can as a party to winnow the field down to one so that we will be united behind that one candidate.”

Wilfong says potential candidates will be given an opportunity to build support and compete for the Louisiana GOP’s backing, and he hopes that once a frontrunner becomes clear, the other competitors will bow out gracefully.

“I know that the party wants to give both candidates an opportunity to make their case to the voters, but at some point we would like to see one of them get out.”

The only two Republicans in the race so far are Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone, and Congressman Ralph Abraham.

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