Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

Who should I vote for?

September 28, 2019

As governor, policies matter, but so does persona. Edwards is known for his ability to work across party lines with Republicans in Louisiana legislative seats and was himself minority leader in the Louisiana House before running for governor. 

He is a right-leaning Democrat with enough political experience to have a clear handle on his role, but he is not so engrossed in the political process that cannot still understand what it is like to be a Louisianan. He is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South and the only Democratic politician in Louisiana to win a state-wide election, though he is also one of the Deep South democrats to veer into classically conservative territory when it comes to hot-button social issues like reproductive rights and gun control.

Though both GOP candidates stand strongly with Trump, Abraham’s campaign message is slightly more nuanced. He currently sits in a U.S. House of Representatives with a Democratic majority, which has forced him to work across party lines, and he has discussed state-level issues like Medicaid and the oil and gas industry throughout his campaign. Despite having experience at the national political level, Abraham also has a sky-high absence rate in Congressional votes. In fact, he is the most absent member of Congress this session.

Rispone, on the other hand, has little to no political experience and seems to be riding solely on his support and admiration for the president. Just because someone admires a politician does not mean they are qualified to become one, no matter how much money they can loan to their own campaign. In the case of Rispone, that figure comes out to $11.5 million. For context, this is only $300,000 less than Kamala Harris fundraised in one quarter in her national primary bid for president. 

Overall, if you are looking for a Democrat who supports nationally liberal policies and is in line with priorities similar to Democrats on the national stage, you are in the wrong state. 

If you are looking for a Trump groupie-turned-politician looking to preserve the Second Amendment, limit reproductive rights, loosely acknowledge climate change and spread a businessman’s attitude and anti-immigrant rhetoric from the White House to Baton Rouge, vote for Rispone. 

If you are looking for a candidate with policies similar to Rispone who has relevant political experience and a more nuanced approach to state-wide politics, vote for Abraham.

If you are looking for a candidate that is socially conservative about gun reform and reproductive rights and a little bit quieter about immigration and climate change but who has and will invest in teachers and work across the aisle, vote for John Bel Edwards.

Mostly, make sure to vote on Oct. 12. Any registered resident of Louisiana can.

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