Louisiana’s Republican candidates for governor talked Thursday of creating tighter and friendlier state government relationships with business, suggesting Democratic incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards’ spending and tax policies have stifled job creation.
U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone spoke at a luncheon event hosted by the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, a conservative think tank, that gave some attendees their first viewing of the men in campaign mode.
Abraham described Louisiana’s tax climate as “toxic” to business and pledged to lower taxes if elected. Rispone touted his background as founder of a Baton Rouge industrial contracting company, saying Louisiana needs a leader with a “business background.”
Both GOP gubernatorial contenders said Louisiana taxes are too high, criticizing Edwards for the sales tax increase that he and the Republican-led Legislature enacted. Abraham and Rispone spoke broadly about financial issues, giving few specifics about what tax changes they’d seek or what areas they’d cut if the state brought in fewer dollars to the state treasury.