LABI endorses both Louisiana GOP gubernatorial candidates

Don Ames
August 22, 2019 - 4:54 pm

The state's most powerful business lobby, The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, is endorsing both Republican contenders in the Governor's race.

It's a change of pace for the political powerhouse that did not endorse any candidate in last year's primary. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says securing LABI endorsements is vital for a Republican candidate.

"LABI is one of the entities that caused the Democrats in the Legislature to be almost non-existent. They bring a lot of money to the table and a lot of their candidates are involved in these other PACs."

The primary will be held on October 12th. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, a run-off will be held on November 16th.

Pinsonat says the biggest question is whether or not the early endorsements signal the group's interest in a more active role in the race. He says LABI has little to lose from going hard after Governor Edwards.

"I don't think that it's going to fracture the relationship because there is not much of a relationship to start with."

The political analyst says getting a LABI endorsement doesn't necessarily have a direct influence on voters, but it does open a lot of fundraising floodgates for a pro-business candidate.

"It's not so much the endorsement. It is important, but it sends a signal to small businesses, and it also allows a candidate to receive thousands of dollars from LABI."

A Governor Edwards spokesperson told the Advocate that LABI is endorsing the Governor's opponents, because they're "promising to bring back Governor Jindal's failed policies."

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