John Bel Edwards

Edwards Moves Towards Bipartisan Cabinet

Louisiana Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards (D) is expected to name Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (R) as his top state government administrator and chief budget officer, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

“The move could be interpreted as Edwards’ first substantial commitment to a bipartisan cabinet. Edwards, a Democrat, has picked Dardenne, a Republican who ran against him in the gubernatorial primary, for arguably the most important and high-profile job in the state government next to his own. As Louisiana’s commissioner of administration, Dardenne will be in charge of running day-to-day operations of government and putting together solutions to the state budget problems for Edwards.”

How John Bel Edwards Won an Improbable Race

The Baton Rouge Advocate looks at how Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards (D) unexpectedly prevailed in the Louisiana governor’s race.

“Edwards needed some luck. Lots of luck, in fact. To make the runoff, he had to be the only Democratic candidate. That happened: Bigger names passed up the race because they thought it was unwinnable.”

“And he needed Vitter to emerge from the primary wounded. That happened, too, thanks to a savage war among the Republican candidates, initiated by Vitter, and attacks from an anti-Vitter group.”

Vitter Appears Vulnerable in Governor’s Race

A new Public Policy Polling survey of Louisiana voters finds that Sen. David Vitter “has seen a large decline in his popularity over the last year, and that while he’s still favored to make the runoff for Governor he is in a bad position when it comes to a head to head match up with John Bel Edwards.”

Edwards now leads Vitter, 50% to 38%.

Key findings: “Vitter has become quite unpopular, with only 34% of voters rating him favorably to 51% with a negative opinion of him… A year ago Vitter looked like a clear favorite but he’s become very unpopular in the time since, and now it appears that there is a very good chance he will be defeated this fall.”