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Azaleas provide a pop of spring color along with a bright blue sky at the State Capitol gardens Tuesday March 19, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La.

Today in The Rundown: The governor's race heats up; how Louisiana residents feel about health care; and everything else you need to know in Louisiana politics.

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The Countdown…

Days until the session must end: 55

Days until election day: 183

The News

Governor's race: Gov. John Bel Edwards and Congressman Ralph Abraham met for the first time on the campaign trail Thursday, squaring off in a forum hosted by the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana that focused on a wide range of policy issues. 

Health care: Large majorities of Louisiana residents support Medicaid expansion and want the state to establish protections for pre-existing medical conditions if the Affordable Care Act is tossed out by the courts. 

Church fires: The son of a St. Landry Parish deputy was arrested in connections with the fires at several black churches in the region.

Happening today 

Louisiana Ethics Board meets at 9 a.m. at the LaSalle Building in Baton Rouge. (View the Agenda)

At the Capitol

  • House is out until 4 p.m. Monday, and the Senate reconvenes at 5 p.m. Monday.

Governor's schedule

  • 9 a.m. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Information Center of Louisiana at Holiday Inn Baton Rouge South. 

Tweet beat 

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Elizabeth Crisp is The Advocate’s Washington, D.C. correspondent, and Sam Karlin covers the State Capitol for The Advocate.

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Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.