BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - “Where’s Eddie,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards asked again and again during his solo appearance before the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday.
His opponent in the runoff race for governor, Eddie Rispone, declined to appear at Monday's traditional forum for gubernatorial runoff candidates.
The governor slammed Rispone for his close friendship with Baton Rouge contractor Lane Grigsby, who the governor Monday called "corrupt."
The governor hinted that Louisiana voters should be worried about the influence Grigsby would have over the governor's mansion if Rispone is elected.
Grigsby has a long history of backing mostly Republican candidates who closely align with his own political views.
Grisby supports fewer labor unions and colleges and universities in the state as well as tighter control over trial lawyers.
While he later said he was joking, Grigsby recently referred to himself as a "kingmaker."
"I talk from the throne," Grigsby recently told the Baton Rouge Business Report after he admitting he tried to convince a candidate to drop out of a state senate race.
"I don't take my cues from puppet masters," Edwards said Monday. "And the corrupt Lane Grigsby - he doesn't get to tell me what to do. He certainly isn't my mentor. And, I don't like him sitting on any sort of throne to give me a direction as to how I'm supposed to govern the great state of Louisiana."
Edwards questioned why Rispone has not given many details about his plans for the state.
Rispone has previously said he would call for a constitutional convention to decide which parts of the Louisiana constitution should be changed or tweaked.
Edwards cautioned that could jeopardize Louisiana's homestead exemption laws as well as supplemental pay for law enforcement officers.
Rispone’s campaign did not say why he could not attend Monday’s event which started at noon.