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Friday June 5th, 2020 2:54AM

The Latest: Rispone: Disappointed at loss, but thankful too

By The Associated Press
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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on the Louisiana governor’s election (all times local):

10:50 p.m.

Republican Eddie Rispone says he’s disappointed at losing the Louisiana governor’s race but he’s thankful for his family and supporters and vowed to continue to work to improve the state.

Rispone spoke late Saturday in Baton Rouge after losing to the incumbent, Democrat John Bel Edwards.

He called on supporters to give a round of applause for President Donald Trump, noting that the president came down three times to the state to campaign.

Speaking of the president, Rispone said: “That man loves America and he loves Louisiana.”

____

10:20 p.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has appeared before a crowd of supporters and declared victory in a tight race for reelection.

As exhilarated supporters chanted the familiar Louisiana refrain, “Who dat!” Edwards told the audience, “How sweet it is.”

On Saturday, voters narrowly reelected Edwards to a second term, snubbing Republican businessman Eddie Rispone who had strong support from President Donald Trump. Edwards said he spoke with Rispone earlier in the evening.

He added, “And as for the president, God bless his heart.”

Louisiana’s only Democratic statewide elected official withstood an onslaught of national Republican opposition and hung on to the seat by focusing on state-specific issues and his record of bipartisanship.

Edwards was helped when Louisiana’s top-tier GOP officials decided against running for the seat.

___

9:55 p.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will keep his job as the Deep South’s only Democratic governor, in a blow to President Donald Trump, who tried to boost the incumbent’s opponent.

On Saturday, voters narrowly reelected Edwards to a second term, snubbing Republican businessman Eddie Rispone deep in the heart of Trump country.

Louisiana’s only Democratic statewide elected official withstood an onslaught of national Republican opposition and hung on to the seat by focusing on state-specific issues and his record of bipartisanship.

Edwards was helped when Louisiana’s top-tier GOP officials decided against running for the seat.

Rispone had never sought public office and had little name recognition. The wealthy industrial contractor poured millions of his own money into the campaign and wrapped himself in his support for Trump, trying to nationalize the race.

___

9:25 p.m.

With a vote count underway in Louisiana, the governor’s race remains extremely close.

An hour and a half after polls closed Saturday, partial results showed Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards and Republican challenger Eddie Rispone neck and neck.

The count was continuing into the night.

The runoff election is deciding whether the Deep South’s only Democratic governor can reach a second term despite opposition from President Donald Trump. Trump made three visits to Louisiana during the race, trying to keep Edwards from victory.

___

8 p.m.

Polls have closed in Louisiana, where a runoff election is deciding whether the Deep South’s only Democratic governor can reach a second term despite opposition from President Donald Trump.

Saturday’s competition between Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards and Republican businessman Eddie Rispone is tight. Trump made three visits to Louisiana during the race, trying to keep Edwards from victory.

The president particularly wants to capture Louisiana’s governorship for Republicans after Democrats ousted a GOP incumbent in Kentucky. Trump has made the race a test of his political prowess amid the Democrats’ impeachment hearings in Washington.

Edwards ran on state-specific issues, trying to steer clear of national politics.

___

1 a.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is battling to defy the partisan odds in the ruby red South and win reelection to a seat that President Donald Trump wants returned to Republicans.

Saturday’s election has become a nail-biter, with no clear favorite for victory.

Trump has made the runoff election between the Deep South’s only Democratic governor and GOP businessman Eddie Rispone a test of his own popularity and political prowess.

The president particularly wants to capture Louisiana’s governorship for the GOP after Democrats ousted a Republican incumbent in Kentucky. Trump made three trips to Louisiana to rally against Edwards.

But in targeting Louisiana’s moderate Democratic incumbent, the president is trying to replace a governor who still maintains positive approval ratings.

Polls in Louisiana close at 8 p.m.

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