Governor candidate John Bel Edwards, in Southern University appearance, calls himself longtime friend of the school _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Democrat gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards addresses students and faculty at Southern University's Higgins Hall.

The Republican Governors Association this morning released its adtargeting Democrat John Bel Edwards in the Louisiana governor’s race.

The Advocate reported Thursday that the $1 million ad buy was coming. Now voters can see the RGA’s attempt to link Edwards, the only major Democrat in the race, to President Barack Obama.

In a news release, RGA spokesman Jon Thompson called Edwards an “Obama liberal.”

“Instead of standing up for Louisiana, John Bel Edwards has repeatedly supported Barack Obama and championed his liberal agenda, even writing the bill that would expand Obamacare in the state,” Thompson said. “While Edwards makes big promises, he ignores the fact that they come with even bigger tax bills for the hardworking people of Louisiana. Louisianans are tired of Obama’s failed leadership and cannot afford an Obama liberal like John Bel Edwards in charge.”

Thompson, in a follow up with The Advocate, confirmed that it’s a seven-figure ad buy for the two-weeks leading up to the Oct. 24 election. He said the ad will air on both broadcast and cable.

The move is pretty significant because RGA had previously said it had no plans to enter the Louisiana governor’s race before the Nov. 21 runoff election, and Louisiana was thought to be a safe Republican win this year. Recent polls, however, have had Edwards pulling ahead.

Edwards responded to the ad, linking the RGA to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who previously chaired the group.

“The money behind these attack ads is coming from Bobby Jindal’s organization,” he said in a statement. “This is a last ditch effort to maintain his strangle hold on Louisiana and stop the only candidate for governor that will truly expose and change his broken policies.”

He refuted the ad’s claims that he plans to raise taxes.

“The polls show I’m viewed as the most trusted, least partisan, and least Jindal-like candidate,” he said. “The best way to respond to lies is with truth. I’ve been responding to Bobby Jindal’s lies for eight years. And I’ve gotten pretty good at it.”

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