Two of the strongest forces in Louisiana politics have already taken sides for the Nov. 21 runoff in the governor’s race, with sheriffs coalescing behind Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards and an influential faction of the oil lobby backing Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter.
This divvying up of political resources will intensify quickly with just four weeks to go until Louisiana chooses its next governor.
The endorsement given to Vitter by the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association’s political action committee is an early sign that business groups may gravitate toward the senior senator in the coming days. LOGPAC Chairman Don Briggs says the endorsement will “ensure that (Vitter) receives the necessary support from our industry.”
Edwards, meanwhile, picked up the support of the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association less than 48 hours after claiming victory in the primary. Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone, LSA’s president, notes Edwards’ West Point education in a news release.
“We feel having John Bel Edwards as our next governor will enhance Louisiana’s image and show the entire country that Louisiana values honesty and integrity in government,” Stone says.
As previously reported, the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association failed to reach a consensus on a single candidate to endorse in the governor’s race in the leadup to the primary. Vitter was actively seeking the LSA endorsement in early August, speaking personally with some sheriffs and texting even more.