BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Vice President Mike Pence visited Baton Rouge Monday, Oct. 28, surprising guests at Dearman’s Diner & Soda Fountain and fundraising at the Country Club of Louisiana for Republican gubernatorial candidate, Eddie Rispone.
“Having built a business in this state, being a lifelong resident of this state - [Rispone] knows Louisiana,” Pence said in an exclusive interview with WAFB. “The president and I couldn’t be more proud to stand with Eddie Rispone in his campaign for governor.”
Air Force 2, Pence’s mode of transportation, landed at BTR around 4 p.m. Monday. He greeted Rispone and other prominent Louisiana Republicans on the tarmac before departing for Dearman’s in a motorcade.
Local law enforcement effectively closed the interstate while Pence traveled in Baton Rouge.
Pence shook hands and greeted patrons who were unaware he would stop by. Pence signed autographs, took photos, and even spoke to the mother-in-law of a Dearman’s employee on her cell phone.
The motorcade then departed for the fundraiser, which was closed to the press.
At least publicly, Pence focused his message and campaigning on the race for governor and not on drama in Washington, D.C. President Donald Trump spent the majority of his last visit to Louisiana slamming Democrats and the impeachment inquiry at a rally in Lake Charles.
“The fact that the incumbent governor got less than 50 percent of the vote says the people of Louisiana want a change,” Pence told WAFB. “Eddie Rispone represents the kind of strong, accomplished leadership that President Donald Trump brought to the White House in 2016.”
Rispone is headed to a runoff with Governor John Bel Edwards. Election Day for the gubernatorial general is Saturday, Nov. 16 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.