Several key Louisiana races headed for a run off

Several key Louisiana races headed for a run off

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Louisiana voters decided a number of key races Saturday, but the two most high profile in the state are headed for a runoff.

John Bel Edwards, the lone Democrat in the race for the governor's seat, made a strong showing Saturday night.

FOX 8 political analyst Mike Sherman says, "He put up a big number last night at 40 percent, showing he's within striking distance."

Edwards will face Sen. David Vitter in a runoff November 21st. Vitter, a Republican, was once considered the front-runner of the race but limped to the finish line with only 23 of the vote.

"His unfavorability is now above his favorability," Sherman said.

In an effort to gain back voters, Vitter Saturday night started laying the groundwork for his attack, saying Edwards is a true believer of President Obama. A tactic, Vitter hopes, will resonate in this red state.

"Voting for John Bel Edwards would be the same as voting for Barack Obama to be governor of Louisiana and put those policies in Baton Rouge," Vitter said.

Edwards contends, "This idea that they're going to be able to divert people and distract them with this focus on Washington and the president, it isn't going to work, this is about Louisiana."

Another Democrat making a strong showing Election Day was Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden.

"This is very exciting and the way we're going to continue, we're going to have a new, new Louisiana," Holden said Saturday.

Despite sparse campaigning, Holden secured 33 percent of those vote.

"He gave us a lab experiment; is being the lone Democrat enough to get someone into a runoff with two well financed Republicans?" Sherman said.

Clearly, it was. He'll face Republican Billy Nungesser in a run-off.

In the race for Jefferson Parish President, Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni pulled out a win over Jefferson Parish councilman Elton Lagasse. Sherman says while most candidates bow out gracefully, Lagasse used the opportunity to take another shot at Yenni.

"I just think they made a mistake. Somebody coming in now is going to have a learning curve and this parish doesn't have time for a learning curve," Lagasse said.

For his part, Yenni says he strived to run a clean campaign, staying away from the mud-slinging and negativity.

"We did everything we could to make sure we stayed positive. I think people are worried about the future and not looking back to the past and politics of the past."

Something he thinks, resonated with voters.

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