Newell: Congratulations to the citizens of Louisiana!

Louisiana has shown we can still control our own destiny

Newell Normand
November 18, 2019 - 3:39 pm

You, the citizens of Louisiana, deserve hearty congratulations for flexing your muscles and voting in an independent fashion.  You refused to be influenced by party-driven ideology and trusted your minds and hearts, when selecting our Governor.  Instead of being driven by outsiders who mislead and misdirect, you took an objective look at the candidates, the facts…the truth.  You waited for the candidates to reveal where each one stood on the issues, and what you found was one candidate willing to share their plan, their strategy, their vision for the future of our state, and one who was not.  You voted John Bel Edwards into a second term.  Many of you voted across party lines.  That was appropriate. 
The reluctant candidate, Eddie Rispone, while delivering his concession speech, said his voters want something “better and different.” That continues to mystify me.  How could those voters reach a place to make that determination with no real information to work with? Over the course of his campaign, Rispone provided little or no details about his platform, beliefs or vision for Louisiana.  
I believe Governor John Bel Edwards offered something “better and different” four years ago, when he handily defeated then-Senator David Vitter. The momentum from that election carried forward into this one, and propelled the Governor to victory in spite of four years of bombardment by state and national Republicans. The breadth and depth of the negative attacks over Edwards’ first term is an occurrence that has been foreign to Louisiana voters. Our state…WE…the Louisiana voters, were a true battleground. 
Fortunately, the “better and different” the public is looking for has already been delivered by the Governor, as Edwards stayed above the fray and refused to be dragged into partisan battles throughout his first term and his re-election campaign.  

Governor John Bel Edwards has been an effective leader the past four years, and he’s been honest about the challenges facing our state.  He’s also been truthful about who has participated in the process of providing solutions, even when that meant praising Republicans. That approach is not necessarily new, but it is certainly different from what we see in Washington, DC and national politics.

Louisiana voters flexed our independence once again.  We showed the world that the same instincts we bring to Mardi Gras, hunting and fishing, festivals and funerals…applies in Louisiana politics.  We are not like the rest.  We blend, when others separate.  We stand with each other, when others divide and get concurred.  We act and think for ourselves, when others follow blindly.

It will, however, be interesting to see how many more times Louisiana voters will be interested in an election enough to plow our own path…or better yet, be allowed to do so.  

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