Louisiana has replaced its Democratic governor with a Republican.
Attorney General Jeff Landry won his state’s gubernatorial race and will be the first Republican to hold the office in the last eight years.
“Today’s election says that our state is united,” said Landry during his victory speech on Oct. 14, per The Guardian. “It’s a wake-up call and it’s a message that everyone should hear loud and clear, that we the people in this state are going to expect more out of our government from here on out.”
Current Governor John Bel Edwards was not eligible to run for reelection because of restrictions on consecutive terms. He is the only Democrat to be elected to a statewide office. Republicans currently have a supermajority in both the Louisiana House and Senate.
Edwards congratulated Landry in an Oct. 15 post on X.
“He ran a winning campaign focused on uniting the people of Louisiana across political and social divides and addressing important kitchen table issues,” said Edwards. “A smooth transition of power following an election is a core tenant of American democracy. My staff and I will ensure the incoming administration has every opportunity to be ready on day one.”
Ronna McDaniels, the chairwoman of the Republican Party, also sent her congratulations to Landry via X.
“This is a historic victory – avoiding a runoff with his resounding vote total – and a flip of the governor’s office from Democrat to Republican!” McDaniel wrote.
Landry was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who won Louisiana in both 2016 and 2020.
“He’s been a fantastic attorney general,” Trump said in a video statement released in May, per The Daily Advertiser. “He wants to stop crime. He loves the people of Louisiana just like I do.”
Landry emerged as the winner from a crowded field of 14 candidates. The Attorney General secured nearly 52% of the vote, immediately securing him the Governor’s office. Under Louisiana’s “jungle primary” system, the top two candidates are automatically entered into a runoff election if neither has secured 50% of the vote.
Democrat Shawn Wison placed second with about 26% of the vote while Republican Stephen Waguespack came in third with almost 6% of the vote. At least seven candidates earned less than 1%.
“The last time there wasn’t a gubernatorial runoff in Louisiana was in 2011 and 2007, when Bobby Jindal, a Republican, won the state’s top position,” notes AP News.
Landry was first elected Attorney General in 2016. He told Fox News that he decided to run for governor in order to end the Democratic Party’s control over the state. His platform centered around “bringing crime in Louisiana under control, as well as improving Louisiana’s standing in areas like education and the economy compared to other Southern states.”