WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Louisiana’s Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards has been re-elected to a second term, narrowly defeating a Republican opponent who had closely aligned himself with U.S. President Donald Trump, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) said.
The victory for Edwards, a conservative Democrat and the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, comes on the heels of recent Democratic gains in Kentucky and Virginia.
Trump, who had won 58% of the popular vote in Louisiana in the 2016 presidential election, had traveled to the state three times to support Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, and repeatedly supported the candidate on Twitter.
On Saturday afternoon he urged voters on Twitter: “Louisiana, 3 hours left, get out and Vote for @EddieRispone for Governor. Lower taxes and much more!”
The Associated Press called the election for Edwards late on Saturday evening.
Tom Perez, chairman of the DNC, said Edwards’ victory was another sign of the “surging strength” of Democrats.
“Louisiana, Kentucky, and Virginia have delivered a devastating warning to Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” he said in a statement. “Democrats are competing and winning in every corner of the country. Less than a year before the 2020 election, the wind is firmly at our backs.”
The DNC invested heavily in the Louisiana Democratic Party to support Democrats’ election efforts.