The Louisiana governor's race is shaping up to be one of the state's most expensive elections to date — with campaigns reporting millions in the bank 10 months out from election day.
Gov. John Bel Edwards' re-election campaign raised $3.8 million in 2018, giving the governor more than $8.3 million cash-on-hand as he makes the case for a second term.
The campaign team for the only Democratic governor in the Deep South announced the fundraising haul in a news release Tuesday morning.
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“It is one of the greatest honors of my life to serve as Governor of Louisiana, and I am humbled by the support my family and I have received from the people of our great state. We have come so far over the last three years, and our state is headed in the right direction,” Edwards said in the release. “With your support and your prayers, I know we can continue this great work.”
Two Republicans – U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone have announced plans to run against Edwards this fall. Others could enter the race.
A short time after Edwards' news release was distributed to media, Rispone’s communications director announced that the ISC Constructors co-founder would report $5.5 million cash on hand, about $5 million of which Rispone has put up himself. He raised half a million after establishing a campaign committee in October.
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Abraham spokesman Cole Avery said the campaign will announce fundraising numbers closer to the date that the report becomes available.
“We're excited about the positive response our campaign has received in the few weeks since Ralph announced, and we expect to have the resources we need to compete and win,” he said.
Campaign finance reports for 2018 are due Feb. 15, which will provide more insight into campaign spending and top tier donors.
The election is Oct. 12. A Nov. 16 runoff will take place between the top two vote-getters if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary.
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