Gov. John Bel Edwards says "in all likelihood" he would oppose any attempt to shift Louisiana from its unique "jungle primary" system to a closed primary system closer to what other states have.
"I think it's served us pretty well," Edwards said during his monthly call-in radio show on Wednesday. "I have no reason right now to support a move back to closed primaries."
Here's an election issue that Republicans and Democrats may be moving toward agreement on: eliminating Louisiana's odd "jungle primary" system…
Louisiana Republican leaders have increasingly suggested that the state revert back to a closed primary system, and Democrats have suggested privately that they also are mulling the idea and could be open to a shift.
Under the current "jungle" primary system, Louisiana races are decided by putting all candidates — regardless of party — onto one ballot. If no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote, then the top two vote-getters — again, regardless of party — face each other in a runoff a month later.
That means elections can be decided in head-to-head matchups between two Republicans or two Democrats.
A change to primaries that pit Republicans against each other for one nomination and Democrats against each other for an opposing nomination would require legislative action. The Legislature's next session begins in April, so it's unlikely that any change could happen before next year's statewide elections for governor, lieutenant governor and other offices, as well as elections to the state House and Senate.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has ended speculation that he might mount a run for governor next year by announcing Wednesday that he …
Whoever the governor is in office -- Edwards faces challenges from Republicans Eddie Rispone and Ralph Abraham in the coming year and more could enter the race -- if legislation is successful would have an opportunity to veto the legislation.
Edwards, who had not publicly staked out a position on the topic, said he hasn't had deeper discussions with those advocating for the change and suggested he'd be open to debate, but Edwards said he worries closed primaries would shift the state more toward partisanship seen on the national level.
"There's less bipartisanship and much more rigid ideological partisanship," he said. "I believe the open primary has served our state well."