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Louisiana Governor Wins Reelection as Working Families Make Their Voices Heard

Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan / Stringer
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By AFSCME Staff Worth the Fight

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards won reelection over the weekend as working families, including AFSCME members, made their voices heard.

AFSCME members knocked on doors and made phone calls to get out the vote for Edwards, a governor with a track record of fighting for working people, investing in education and expanding health care across the state. He beat Eddie Rispone, a businessman and a corporate ally, by 2 percentage points in the runoff election held Saturday.

"I believe the people of Louisiana want to keep moving forward,” Edwards told CBS News as voters headed to the polls. "They know we're stronger, better today, and I believe we're going to be better four years from now.”

As governor – and, prior to becoming governor – state representative, Edwards has a track record of fighting for working families. Among other things, he supports workers’ right to negotiate together for better wages and working conditions; strong pensions and health care; investing in higher education and expanding access to free, quality pre-kindergarten; and creating sustainable communities built by strong workers. He also fought to raise the pay of teachers and school support staff and expanded Medicaid, cutting the number of uninsured Louisianans in half.

His successful reelection was a victory for working families in Louisiana, who saw in Rispone just another wealthy businessman unlikely to stand up for them. They made their voices heard, just like working families in Kentucky did earlier this month when they voted out Gov. Matt Bevin, another champion of corporate interests, in favor of pro-worker candidate Andy Beshear.

The victories in Louisiana and Kentucky and elsewhere in the country – especially in Virginia, where working people helped elect a pro-worker legislature for the first time in a generation –show that working people are eager and willing to make their voices heard in the elections. They offer further evidence of the growing grassroots and political momentum for working people and in favor of unrigging an economy that’s long been tilted toward to wealthy corporate interests.