Newell: Louisiana voters chose conservative Democrat over national politics

Chris Miller
November 16, 2019 - 11:44 pm

John Bel Edward's reelection shows Louisiana voters can put party aside if the right candidate is in the race.

"Ultimately, what ended up happening is folks realized he is a conservative Democrat," said Newell Normand, WWL host and former sheriff of Jefferson Parish. "He's a little different Democrat than what you typically see, and I think a lot of the folks that consider themselves in the middle ended up voting and pulling the lever for John Bel."

Newell said even for a pro-life, pro-gun former  Army Ranger, it was a challenge for Edwards to overcome the money and attention national Republican party officials gave to the Louisiana governor's race.

"The fact that the president came down here three, if not four times, in order to campaign for (Rispone), and to push very hard. The Republican National Committee put a lot of money into the state of Louisiana," said Newell.

"They obviously targeted this as a state that was very important to the national races coming up in the coming year."

Newell said Edwards' work to reach across the aisle and work with Republicans, and his ability to build collaboration and consensus in order to enact his policies, paid off in showing voters that not everything in politics is about party.

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