November 18, 2019
November 16 Run-Off Election Results!
Election results are in! More than 1.5 million Louisiana voters showed up for this critical run-off election. In other words, 51% of registered voters, in Lafayette and statewide, participated in this election. This was an increase from a month ago, when roughly 1.3 million people, or 45% of registered voters, cast their ballots. Run-off election turnout is is often lower than in primary elections, but this year we–Voters Organized to Educate, VOTE, the Power Coalition and other key partners–mobilized on a massive scale. The President probably has heartburn in the White House with how much cajun cooking he ate during the past month, and it might be particularly troubling to some observers to know how big an impact our voting bloc has become.
Governor John Bel Edwards was re-elected, receiving 50.7% of the vote. Edwards defeated businessman Eddie Rispone for the job that may truly define Louisiana’s fate. Although only 40% of the parish supported Gov. Edwards, a strong showing in Lafayette (winning nearly every precinct) ensured he only lost the parish by 15,000 votes. If Edwards had not won by 50,000 votes in Baton Rouge and by 100,000 in New Orleans, we would be waking up in a different Louisiana, with Rispone as our governor.
We hope leaders can now turn their attention to toxic dumping grounds, rising sea levels and the intergenerational impacts of poverty. We can expect the Edwards administration to continue focusing on health care, education, and reforming the criminal legal system towards restorative justice. With Edwards at the helm, Louisiana residents of all political persuasions can expect us to continue trending in the right direction. It will also likely be national news, in the era of Trump, that a two-thirds Republican state refused to elect another unqualified rich guy, just because he has an “R” next to his name and talks like the President.
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin won the rematch with Gwen Collins-Greenup, receiving 59% of the vote, despite the heavy Democrat turnout and recent news of Kyle Ardoin not adhering to campaign finance laws. While Collins-Greenup mounted a solid campaign for the seat, she would have become Louisiana’s first statewide-elected Black woman. Now that Ardoin is out of a two-year campaign mode, perhaps he will be more willing to inform people of their voting rights and maybe even help simplify the registration process for people who have had their voting rights suspended, and now restored. Stay tuned for more on the struggle for universal suffrage.
Louisiana Supreme Court Associate Justice, 1st District: After a Final Four in the primary, voters from the North and South Shores elected Will Crain over Hans Liljeberg, receiving 57% of the vote. This was framed as Trial Lawyers (for Liljeberg) vs. Big Business (for Crain), but that is never quite the case, as these two are probably much more alike than different. Crain presents himself with the out-dated tough on crime narrative. We hope that view doesn’t impact his judgment when reviewing police misconduct, ineffective lawyers, and other abuses of power. Most of Crain’s support came from the North Shore, which outnumbered Lijeberg’s votes in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish.
- Lafayette Mayor-President will be Josh Guillory receiving 56% of the vote. Guillory came off a Congressional run for office to defeat No Party candidate Calee Alm-Labarl. She ran without the support of a political party, while Guillory proved that elections are typically swayed by well-oiled machinery.
- House Dist. 31: Jonathan Goudeau defeated Gus Rantz, gaining 54% of the vote, and will therefore be a member of Louisiana’s large freshmen class of legislators. We hope to educate Mr. Goudeau regrading the importance of criminal justice reform in our state that is struggling to support the weight of mass incarceration.
- Lafayette City Council District 1: Pat Lewis the only council member we endorsed this year, defeated Mark Pope, getting 66% of the vote. Pope gained the most votes in the primary last month.
- Lafayette City Council District 5: Glenn Lazard defeated Janet Jackson, receiving 51% of the vote, and is poised to be a strong representative on the Council.
- Parish Council Member District 3: Josh Carlson defeated Jeremy Hidalgo in the run-off with 51% of the vote. The new-look Lafayette councils are now set for the next four years.
Next Election: April 4th, Presidential Primary
Next year will be the first time you must register as a member of either the Democrat or Republican party to be eligible to vote in the U.S. presidential primary election. You can easily change your registration online, prior to March 14, 2020.
Remember: You can register to vote at any time. If you have a criminal conviction, and need help, contact VOTE (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 504-571-9599.
Thanks for voting, and remember to tell your neighbors: know your vote!