Republican candidate Eddie Rispone talks about his campaign

Says he is done with campaigns, but plans to stay active with issues

Thomas Perumean
December 15, 2019 - 12:13 pm
Republican candidate Eddie Rispone talks about his campaign

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Speaking to the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, Eddie Rispone, the firebrand Republican candidate and ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, spoke recently in a four-and-a-half hour interview at his office in Baton Rouge.  

Rispone said he was disappointed in his loss to Incumbent John Bel Edwards.  But he says he has no major regrets, despite shrinking his personal bank account by some 13-million dollars.  

Rispone did admit he's done running for governor.  "I've gotten over it.  I've moved on," Rispone says.  "I'm trying to think about what I can do for our future of our state -- workforce, development and education."

Rispone calls himself an accidental candidate of sorts.  He says in 2017 he was convinced Governor Edwards was taking Louisiana in the wrong direction, blunting the educational efforts the Jindal administration made to make schools more accountable and to give poor children chances to get a better education through vouchers.  

He also took issue with Edwards' support for trial lawyers by demanding parishes file lawsuits against oil and gas companies while scaling back tax breaks for the energy industries.  

He said to himself, "This guy is killing jobs and trying to reverse everything we had done in education."

When the question arose "Who is going to turn this around?"  

Rispone says his wife initially didn't like the idea of running for Governor.  The businessman tried to recruit Steve Scalise and others to make a run.  

Rispone says he found himself holding imaginary debates with Edwards.  Overtime, his wife changed her mind and she would support him running for office.  

Initially, Rispone pumped $5-million dollars into his campaign, then another $5-million for TV ads.  He said his consultants came up with the ideological strategy to paint Edwards as "a liberal trial attorney" against "a businessman who was not beholden to special interests."

Rispone came just 40,000 votes shy of defeating Edwards.  

Now that he's back to private life, Rispone says he wants to stay active doing what he did best, pushing conservative policies for the education system and working on better ways to train blue collar workers.  

Rispone says he believes Edwards and he are too far apart on issues, "'Do you think he'd reduce lawsuit abuse'", Rispone's asked himself.  "I don't think so," He responds.  

One thing Rispone says he's recovered since the end of his campaign is his appetite.  He says he's eating ravenously after dropping 15-pounds during the long campaign.  

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