Gov. Edwards formally announces re-election run

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Although there was never a doubt that he would, Gov. John Bel Edwards has officially announced his re-election campaign.

He made the announcement in a video posted on Twitter and YouTube.

Edwards touted economic success in the video. He takes some credit for the state’s current budget surplus after inheriting a $2 billion budget deficit when he took office in 2015.

He also reaffirmed his decision to expand Medicaid, which cut the state’s uninsured rate in half. In addition, Edwards laid out short-term goals for the coming year, including teacher pay raises, equal wages for women, and a minimum wage increase.

All of those issues have polled between 70 and 90 percent approval.

“He does have some issues that are popular with the electorate,” WAFB political analyst Jim Engster said. “But they’re not popular with the legislature. He’s been pushing these for three years without success, and maybe this is an effort to get some traction in those measures.”

Edwards also warned his supporters that his “opponents and out-of-state special interest groups will spend millions of dollars attacking (him) and his record with partisan talking points, distortions, and outright lies.”

Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone and U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham had already formally entered the race. Edwards has a sizable campaign war chest, already fundraising $8 million.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.