Yes, Louisiana again will have an Edwards occupy the Governor’s Mansion. However, I would dare assume that most Louisiana folks are hoping that a last name is all the governor-elect will share with the past Governor Edwards. This past Saturday, November 21, Louisiana elected John Bel Edwards, a democratic state representative, to lead our state for the next four years. I must add, Louisiana did not simply elect him; they demanded him. Edwards beat U.S. Senator, David Vitter, by a 12 point margin (56%-44%).
This victory came as a shock to many, especially Vitter supporters. Up until Friday evening, I had many folks telling me David had in it in the bag, especially following the Syrian refugee mess over the last week. I didn’t believe it, because I saw firsthand how that campaign was run, but I’ll talk more about that in future posts. However, the usual pundits on the right, and David’s own campaign folks, were wrong.
Not only did he lose, he also broke the news that he would NOT seek re-election to the senate when his term runs out in 2016. This came as a major shock to many and leaves us all wondering what is next for Senator Vitter. I really have enjoyed following Senator Vitter over the years and have been impressed by his loyalty and dedication to our state. I believe Senator Vitter deserves all of our best wishes and sincere gratitude.
In his normal laid-back manner, Senator Vitter gave a gracious concession speech. He thanked his family, staff and supporters for standing by his side through the good, bad and the ugly of this campaign…and anyone who followed the campaign knows it was indeed full of all three.
I, unlike many of my friends in the political world, am fine with the outcome. I don’t know if this is because I choose to be an optimist about this sort of situation or if it’s because I truly love my state and don’t want to insult it by threatening to move to another one. I have always felt that no matter who is elected, even if it isn’t my guy, that I should move forward, speak my mind and hope and pray that the person elected will be a wonderful leader. Think about it, if we get mad every single time something doesn’t go our way, how are we any different than a toddler? As adults, we must face the situation head on and move forward in a positive manner.
Following John Bel Edwards for years, I have always been impressed by his work ethic and drive. Though I have not always agreed with his positions on certain issues, I have always respected the man due to the fact that he served our country in uniform and because he leads with his heart. Through the campaign, I must admit I became fond of him. He appears to be a gracious family man, with a strong faith in God and a desire to help those less fortunate, including those with special needs. I have heard many stories of him as a man, not as a legislator. He has visited with friends who have sick children and, even in the middle of a campaign, would check in on them. If you can’t appreciate that type of genuine behavior then you have the problem, not Mr. Edwards.
I am optimistic of the future of my state. I am also optimistic about the future Governor of my state. With a Lt. Governor, Billy Nungesser, who has proven leadership and a desire to serve AND with an Attorney General, Jeff Landry, who has been an enthusiastic and affective leader, I look forward to this new trio of leadership. Though, I must admit, it will be strange not to have a Governor Jindal anymore, however all good (yes, I said good) things must come to an end. Governor Jindal served our state with passion that will be hard to match, though I look forward to watching an always enthusiastic John Bel Edwards serve Louisiana going forward. My prayers, and well wishes, are with you Governor-Elect Edwards.
Ruth Wisher graduated from Northwestern State University with a degree in Journalism. After graduating in 2011, she worked as the Policy Coordinator for Governor Bobby Jindal. She left the governor’s office in 2014 to become the Louisiana State Director for a pro-life PAC, designed to reveal Mary Landrieu’s pro-abortion voting record and to help get a pro-life senator elected. Upon pro-life candidate Bill Cassidy’s victory, Ruth started her own consulting firm, Wisher Strategies. For fun, she enjoys running, weight lifting and triathlon training. She recently completed a half ironman 70.3 mile triathlon. Ruth lives in Baton Rouge.