Attacks coming from both sides in final weeks of Louisiana Governor’s race

Updated: Nov. 4, 2019 at 11:03 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - You’ve definitely seen them on television or have gotten something in the mail.

With the election less than two weeks away and early voting in full swing, the attacks from people on both sides are getting pretty vicious.

If you thought the bickering between the two candidates running for governor, John Bel Edwards and Eddie Rispone, would maybe simmer down after last week’s debate, you were dead wrong.

“As they say, all is fair in love, in war, in politics, and each side is trying to generate its base,” said WAFB’s political analyst Jim Engster.

Let’s first take you back to a radio interview with Eddie Rispone from Friday, Nov. 1 on ‘Talkback with Matthew Dunn & Jim Leggett’.

Eddie Rispone makes statement on radio station criticizing John Bel Edwards, saying he’s hurt...
Eddie Rispone makes statement on radio station criticizing John Bel Edwards, saying he’s hurt the reputation of West Point grads.(.)

“I think [Edwards is] hurting the reputation of West Point. I don’t think West Pont wants to turn out a bunch of trial lawyers that will say or do anything to stay in power,” said Rispone.

Listen to the interview by clicking the link here.

Gov. Edwards responded to the attack, while early voting Saturday, Nov. 2 in Amite.

“While [Rispone] was on the board lobbying for special interests, I was still jumping out of airplanes at 2 o’clock in the morning. So I’ll put my record of service up against his any day,” said Edwards.

On Monday, Nov. 4, while early voting in Baton Rouge, Rispone brushed off Edwards’ remarks.

“Two West Point people mentioned that to me and I guess I was being politically correct. I should not have brought it up. But two of them came and said they were embarrassed, about what [Edwards] will do to stay in power. That’s why it came to mind,” said Rispone.

Now, there are flyers and ads on the radio by ‘The Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD)’ PAC out of New Orleans.

The Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD) is sending out both political flyers...
The Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD) is sending out both political flyers and radio ads, comparing Rispone and President Trump to David Duke.(.)

The councilman there, Jay Banks, spoke out against Rispone publically.

“What is the difference between David Duke, Eddie Rispone, and Donald Trump,” questioned Banks in a radio ad.

A spokesman for the governor's campaign would only say in response, "These ads are not paid for or authorized by the John Bel Edwards campaign."

Councilman Banks backed up his statements in a phone interview with WAFB on Monday.

“[Rispone and David Duke] both embrace the rhetoric of the President of the United States, who has avowed racist, bigoted comments since he’s been in office. They both embrace him. At the end of the day the platforms are very, very similar,” said Banks over the phone.

"I just seen the ads comparing Donald Trump and I to David Duke. They’re playing the race card again, it’s disgusting. And [Edwards] needs to do something about it. He can’t just continue down that path,” said Rispone, who responded to the ads while early voting.

”Ultimately, whoever gets the biggest share of the base will win this election," said Engster.

Engster questions whether there’s anything quite left to attack the other side on, other than what’s already been said.

“This guy has connections to people who are like David Duke, or this guy has connections to trial lawyers and unions and people who have affected Louisiana politics adversely in the minds of many conservatives,” said Engster.

Engster believes every issue has potential to swing this election. He says it could be a race settled by less than 4 points and a photo finish. Whichever side brings out the most voters, will most likely win he says.

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