Sunday, November 22, 2015

Democrat Edwards elected governor of Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS — State Rep. John Bel Edwards was elected governor of Louisiana on Saturday night, defeating two-term U.S. Sen. David Vitter in what would have been an unthinkable upset a few months ago.

Hundreds of supporters celebrated with the governor-elect, his wife Donna and their children at the Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans, cheering and endlessly ringing yellow and blue bells, the colors of the campaign.

Edwards defied conventional wisdom that a Democrat would be doomed in a ruby red Republican Southern state, winning with 55% of the vote with about half of the precincts reporting.

In fact, his victory comes on the heels of three-term former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s sound defeat in her re-election bid just last year. Landrieu had been the last Democrat elected to statewide office in Louisiana eight years ago.

Moments after conceding Saturday night, Vitter announced he will not seek re-election in the Senate.

"I've reached my personal term limit," Vitter told supporters who gathered at his campaign party at the airport Hilton in Kenner.

The announcement marks the end of a decades-long political career that culminated in a bruising and heated race for the state's top elected position.

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