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, 48% in Caddo Parish, participated in this election. This was an increase from a month ago, when roughly 1.3 million people, or 45% of registered voters, 39% in Caddo Parish, cast their ballots. Run-off election turnout 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. 58% of Caddo Parish voted for Gov. Edwards, but those votes were highly concentrated in Shreveport, the urban part of the parish, at rates hovering 90%. The slim margin of just 40,341 votes is poetically similar to the number of people held in prisons and jails. If Edwards had not won by a margin of 13,000 in Caddo, 50,000 in Baton Rouge and by 100,000 votes 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.
- House Dist. 3: Tammy Phelps defeated our endorsed candidate Daryl Joy Walters, receiving 51% of the vote. Phelps came within 4% of winning outright during the primary election, and in the run-off beat Walters by just 113 votes. Turnout in this election rose from approximately 7,000 people in the primary to almost 10,000 voters in the run-off. Walters’ supporters showed up strong but unfortunately did not outnumber Phelps’ supporters. Despite the fact that we did not endorse Phelps, we are looking forward to working with her and know she will advocate for the people of Shreveport at the Capitol.
Next Election: April 4, 2020, Presidential Primary
Next year will be the first time you must register as either a Democrat or a Republican party in order to vote in the presidential primary. You can easily change your registration online, as long as you do so before March 14, 2020.
Remember: You can register to vote at any time. If you have a criminal conviction and need help, contact VOTE: email@example.com or 504-571-9599.
Thanks for voting, and remember to tell your neighbors: know your vote!