By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana Republicans have chosen their new chairman, a New Orleans businessman who will lead the party as it readies for a heated effort aimed at unseating Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2019.
Louis Gurvich was chosen for the two-year term Saturday by the party's governing body. He defeated three other candidates.
He takes over from Roger Villere who served as chairman for 14 years, the longest tenure in the state party's history. Villere was in charge as Republicans took over the state Legislature and captured all but one of Louisiana's statewide elected positions.
Gurvich said the theme of his chairmanship is: "Saddle the horses. We are on the march." He said the GOP is "under attack" from Democrats and he wants to ensure the GOP is Louisiana's dominant party.