NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -The latest campaign finance reports filed in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s race show incumbent Joe Lopinto with a sizable fundraising lead.
The state’s deadline for filing campaign funding reports is Sept. 12, for the 30th day prior to the Oct. 12th election.
According to documents on the La. Ethics Board website, Lopinto had $318,871 on hand at the close of the reporting period.
Lopinto is challenged by former Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Fortunato and Anthony Bloise.
Fortunato had $21,460 on hand and campaign finance documents indicated that Bloise had not filed a report since 2018.
Candidates for governor also face the same deadline for making public their campaign finance reports. But if the information is provided electronically, the Ethics Board says the deadline is 11:59 p.m.
FOX 8 political analyst Mike Sherman sized up the state of the governor’s race.
"So, we have three clear front-runners, Gov. John Bel Edwards, the incumbent, far ahead of his Republican challengers,” said Sherman.
Pundits say Edwards, who is the sole Democratic governor in the Deep South, faces his most serious challenge from Republicans Ralph Abraham, who is currently in Congress, and wealthy businessman Eddie Rispone.
And like his GOP contenders, Edwards is pro-life and pro-Second Amendment.
Sherman says Edwards needs the support of some Republicans to win re-election.
"For Gov. John Bel Edwards, in addition to his core base, his core constituency, he's got to win between 80,000 and 100,000 Trump voters to win this election in one [race]. It's definitely a plausible path to victory, but a difficult one for a Democrat,” said Sherman.
If Edwards does not get more than 50-percent of the vote, he will face either Abraham, or Rispone in a November runoff.
Louisiana is a deep red state, which Pres. Donald Trump carried during the last presidential election, and both Abraham and Rispone have stressed their strong support for the president. Meanwhile, Edwards maintains that he has a good working relationship with Trump and has visited the Trump White House numerous times.
Sherman says Abraham and Rispone will need more than just Republican support to be successful.
"So, the challenge for Rispone and Abraham is they’re both moving further to the right to try to be Trump’s protege’ and not focusing on that valuable middle which is who decides elections in Louisiana,” said Sherman.