Jefferson Parish has been good to Gov. John Bel Edwards on election days.

Eddie Rispone wants to change that on Nov. 16.

Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman, fired up a crowd of more than 100 supporters in Metairie on Friday in asking them to help him defeat Edwards in the runoff.

“If you get everyone you know and text them and call them and email them and get them out to vote, guess what? We won’t lose Jefferson Parish this time,” Rispone told supporters in an empty store at Clearview Mall.

Edwards, a Democrat, won 53% in Jefferson Parish against his two Republican opponents in the Oct. 12 primary, Rispone and U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, of Alto.

Edwards carried Jefferson Parish with 51% in the governor’s race four years ago against then-U.S. Sen. David Vitter, his Republican opponent, who is from Metairie.

Edwards’ success has surprised political experts because it had become fertile territory for Republicans in recent years.

Jefferson Parish has more registered Republicans than any other parish, with 82,822, about 200 more than St. Tammany Parish. Rispone is scheduled to speak there on Saturday as he tries to rev up supporters on the final day of early voting.

Edwards is scheduled to be in metro New Orleans on Saturday, including stops in Marrero and at Dillard and Xavier universities as he, too, tries to pump up his supporters to vote.

At his event Friday, Rispone was still reveling in having President Donald Trump come to Monroe on Wednesday to campaign for him.

"Can y’all show that much energy that you saw up there?” he asked the crowd “It’s crazy, folks!

Scattered throughout the crowd were folks wearing Trump’s red “Make America Great Again,” caps. One woman standing close to the stage showed off her red-white-and-blue tennis shoes emblazoned with “Trump.”

Rispone, a 70-year-old first-time candidate, hit the highlights during a seven-minute speech. The chairman and founder of an electrical contracting company, he called himself “a job creator” and “outsider who is not beholden to special interests,” which he defined as trial attorneys allied with Edwards.

“He says he’s for people over politics,” Rispone said. “It’s just the opposite.”

As in other campaign appearances, Rispone said little about what he would do if elected governor.

He said that Edwards raised taxes, but didn’t note that the governor did it with the Republican-majority Legislature.

“Let’s turn our state around,” Rispone said as he wound up his remarks.

Afterward, several dozen people lined up to take a photograph with him.

Email Tyler Bridges at