BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - WAFB has learned Eddie Rispone conceded to John Bel Edwards in a phone call Saturday, Nov. 16. The news was first reported by WAFB on Election Night after Political Analyst Jim Engster projected Edwards to win.
Rispone later appeared before an audience to deliver his concession speech.
“You know, we have nothing to be ashamed of,” Rispone said. At a later point in the speech, Rispone said he was disappointed in the outcome but proud of the support thrown behind him by voters in Louisiana.
A native of the state’s capital city, Baton Rouge, Rispone claims his pro-life, pro-family, and pro-Second Amendment political ideology was shaped by his Christian and Conservative upbringing.
Rispone is among Louisiana’s mega-millionaire residents. He earned a Construction Technology degree from Louisiana State University into ISC Constructors, a construction business reaching across several states which he says rakes in hundreds-of-millions of dollars each year.
It’s his success as a businessman that served as a launching point for his campaign.
He poured money into his campaign that was spent on digital advertising as opposed to traditional meet and greets with constituents and touted his business experience as a qualification. His campaign was modeled in the same fashion as the 2016 campaign of businessman Donald Trump.
Rispone’s platformed centered on his support of Trump’s efforts to create stronger penalties against illegal immigration, end sanctuary cities, and “stop the influx of drugs, gangs, and violence into our country.” Rispone also said during the campaign he planned to address wasteful spending and reform the “outdated” tax code which he anticipated would help lower taxes.
Read his full speech below:
"Thank y’all so much.
Did [the person who spoke before Rispone] say it best. He did. Now you know why he’s here.
You know, we have nothing to be ashamed of. We had over 700,000 people in Louisiana really want something better and something different.
Many of y’all worked very, very hard and I appreciate that. It’s very humbling to know we had that many people really want something better. You put a lot of your treasure in this. You put a lot of your time and your heart. And, you were doing it for the right reasons.
And, we’re going to continue to do that. We’re going to work in this state. We’re going to make sure that we do one day make this the best state it can possibly be, not be last. And, we’re going to continue to do that.
God has blessed this state. We know it.
We have such an incredible state here with such blessings that God has given us. And we got to continue to work to try to make it what it should be.
You know, I say that. Thank you.
I am disappointed if being very honest, but I want to tell you I am grateful for Linda. She has been incredible.
Fourteen months I’ve drug her all over this state and she has never complained. It’s amazing. [I] could not have done without her. It’s no question about that.
And I have this amazing family behind me. They’ve supported me.
That’s the foundation of life, Lord. It is soothing.
You know to grow up with a beautiful family, a loving family that taught us about Christ, taught us about work and responsibility, [and] also taught us to be grateful for the blessings we’ve received from God. And so, there’s no regrets there.
When you try to serve him you do the best you can. And that’s what we’ve done. We’ve worked very hard. You’ve worked very hard and I’m grateful for your friendship. I’m grateful that you love this state and you want to see it do better.
Thank you. Give yourselves a round of applause, please.
I was being interviewed by Fox a couple of days ago and the gentleman that was interviewing me - it was Thursday morning before President Trump came. By the way, can we give President Trump a round of applause? That man loves America and he loves Louisiana. He came down here three times specifically to try to help us. Please give him another round of applause. - this gentleman was interviewing me and he says ‘Mr. Rispone I got to ask you a question.’ I say ‘what’s that sir?’ He says ‘Well, what happens if you don’t win? What’s it going to be like to go back to the life you had before?’ I said ‘Hey. I tell you, fella, I had a pretty good life.’
Between [my wife and I] we’ve got seven extraordinary, married children. And, you know what’s coming next? Twenty four perfect grandchildren. And, you’re looking at me saying what are you doing running for governor.
But truly, you know I am so blessed for your friendship and your support. You obviously know that I am very blessed with an incredible family. God has continued to bless us. And we’re going to continue to work for this state so every child will have an opportunity. An opportunity to receive an education, an opportunity to have hope, an opportunity to know Christ.
God bless you and thank you so much for being here.
I’m sorry, but I have to add one thing. We have an incredible group of people representing us in Washington. They’re here today. Let’s give them a round of applause and appreciation. We have an incredible group of ladies and gentlemen that’s going to represent us in the Senate and the House. And, they’re going to continue to defend and try to turn our state around. Let’s welcome them. Thank you.
Now I just want to enjoy y’all. So I’m getting off this podium and we’ll get out there and enjoy ourselves. God bless you and thank you for being here."