(WAFB) - Republican incumbent Jefferey “Jeff” Landry will serve as Attorney General of Louisiana for a second term after defeating Democratic challenger Isaac “Ike” Jackson Jr. in Louisiana’s primary election Saturday, Oct. 12. Landry’s election marks his second defeat of Jackson. Jackson unsuccessfully ran against him in the 2015 race for Attorney General.
Landry captured 66% of the vote, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office’s complete but unofficial results. His competitor trailed at 34% of the vote.
Neither candidate had standout moments to shift support in their favor during the race.
Landry was already distinguished as the ideal Republican among his party’s leadership and voters.
He was easily recognizable from the 2015 election in which he snatched a party endorsement from his predecessor, an incumbent Republican Attorney General who he argued wasn’t Conservative enough. And, he already raised his profile nationally by reorganizing Louisiana’s Department of Justice to take on a number of high-interest national cases during his first tenure.
His campaign flew under the radar when compared to campaigns in other races, and consisted of encouraging voters to stick with what’s working. His most talked-about moment during the race came from an overnight misfire of political text messages.
Jackson sought to build support for his campaign among Louisiana residents who benefit from the American Care Act. While in office, Landry signed on to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law. Jackson argued Landry was playing into party politics and robbing Louisianians of healthcare.
Beyond healthcare, Jackson played to his strengths as a former General Counsel of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and Chief of the Land and Natural Resources Section while serving as Assistant Attorney General years ago. He told voters he’d publicly list violations in the oil and gas industries as a way to prevent companies from extorting obscure oversight authority over penalty money collections.
Companies in those industries were among of Landry’s major supporters in his 2015 election.
Still, Jackson lacked the set of circumstances that catapulted unsung Amite Democrat John Bel Edwards past a Republican blockade and into a statewide office. And, it’s possible Jackson’s message may have gotten washed out in a wave of pro-Conservative voter turnout efforts that featured prominent national Republicans seeking to replace Edwards.
Landry may join the second wave of that effort in support of fellow Republican candidate Eddie Rispone who is competing in a runoff for governor. Of the Republican politicians in the state, Landry has had some of the more explosive feuds with Rispone’s competitor, incumbent Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.
Throughout his tenure, Landry has publically battled Edwards on several issues.
Edwards sued Landry at one point over his decision to block a series of state contracts that contained an anti-discrimination clause aimed at protecting members of the LGBT community. The clause was included because of an executive order signed by Edwards.
“I believe Jeff Landry is on the wrong side of the law and the wrong side of history on this matter,” said Edwards at the time. “To tell people they can only have a contract with the state if they are free to discriminate then that just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Landry meanwhile argued that the governor’s executive order overstepped his authority, creating a new protected class not defined in state law.
The Louisiana Supreme Court later declined to take up the governor’s appeal after the executive order was thrown out in a lower court.
The two have also gone head to head over where settlement money from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil spill should go and the governor’s plans to hire lawyers to represent the state in a coastal lawsuit against major oil companies.
And, Landry frequently takes shots at Edwards over healthcare.
One of there most recent battles dealt with lethal injections of death row prisoners.
Landry said Edwards’ “unwillingness to proceed with any executions” has been the state’s biggest obstacle to “getting justice.” Edwards shot down those claims by saying the state doesn’t have the chemicals available to execute people because pharmaceutical companies do not want their product to be used for capital punishment.
Landry was once rumored to be among the top choices to be a Republican challenger against Edwards. Landry ended the speculation by saying he’s happy in his role and would seek re-election for Attorney General.
Landry is a Veteran of Desert Storm. He raises his son J.T. in Acadiana with his wife Sharon.