Strain, Schroder, Landry, Nungesser all win reelection
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Latest on Louisiana's election (all times local):
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin has been forced into a runoff to determine if he'll return for a full four-year term as Louisiana's elections chief.
Ardoin didn't top 50% of the vote in Saturday's primary, so he'll head to a Nov. 16 head-to-head matchup with the race's No. 2 finisher.
The Republican incumbent faced three challengers: Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup of Clinton, and Republicans Thomas Kennedy III of New Orleans and Amanda Jennings Smith of Bastrop.
None of Ardoin's opponents raised significant funds to challenge him.
Ardoin worked as top deputy to former Secretary of State Tom Schedler, who resigned last year after sexual harassment allegations were lodged against him. Ardoin took over the position, then successfully won a 2018 special election to fill out the final year of Schedler's term.
Republican Mike Strain has defeated four farmers vying to unseat him as Louisiana's agriculture commissioner.
Voters reelected Strain, a veterinarian in office since 2008, to a fourth term in Saturday's primary.
Strain faced four challengers. Democrats included Charlie Greer, a Natchitoches Parish farmer who ran unsuccessfully in 2015; New Orleans vegetable and flower farmer Marguerite Green; and Lettsworth tree farmer Peter Williams. Also in the race was Republican rice and crawfish farmer Bradley Zaunbrecher.
Strain defended his tenure, saying he's streamlined the department, paid down debt and saved taxpayers millions while the industries he regulates doubled in value.
Opponents criticized Strain as decimating the department with cuts and doing too little to assist farmers with changes needed in the agriculture industry. But they had few resources to campaign against Strain.
Voters have reelected Republican John Schroder as Louisiana's state treasurer.
Schroder, who first won the position in a 2017 special election, defeated two opponents in Saturday's primary to avoid a runoff.
The former state lawmaker from St. Tammany Parish fought off competition from New Orleans area lawyer Derrick Edwards, a Democrat making a second unsuccessful bid for the job. His other opponent was Teresa Kenny, a candidate without party affiliation from Metairie.
Schroder was first elected treasurer two years ago, to fill the remaining term of Republican John Kennedy, who won a U.S. Senate seat.
The treasurer is Louisiana's state banker, in charge of investing, disbursing and managing the state's money and its savings accounts. The treasurer also chairs the Bond Commission, which oversees state borrowing and debt levels.
Attorney General Jeff Landry will hold on to his position as Louisiana's chief legal officer.
Voters in Saturday's primary election gave the Republican from the Lafayette area a second term in office, choosing him over Democrat Ike Jackson Jr.
Landry has raised the profile of attorney general. He's clashed repeatedly with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards over LGBT rights, state finances and the death penalty. He's also used the office to champion Republican policy positions.
Jackson is a lawyer from Plaquemine who once worked in the attorney general's office.
Jackson criticized Landry's decision to join a federal lawsuit seeking to throw out former President Barack Obama's health overhaul. He said Landry has run the office in a purely partisan manner. But he had little money to mount his election challenge.
Republican Billy Nungesser has won a second term as Louisiana's lieutenant governor.
Nungesser defeated New Orleans Democrat Willie Jones in Saturday's primary election.
Jones did little fundraising and had little money to compete against Nungesser, a former Plaquemines Parish president.
Besides being second in line to the governor, the lieutenant governor is Louisiana's chief tourism official, leading the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. He oversees state marketing efforts for an $18 billion tourism industry and manages state parks, museums and historic sites.
Nungesser ran on his work to cut costs and bring new investment into the parks system and touted the state's redesigned tourism and outreach campaign. Jones said he would bring diversity and a new vision to the promotion work.
Polls are closing in Louisiana's election, with the Deep South's only Democratic governor waiting to learn if he'll win a second term or if he'll have to campaign until November to learn his fate.
The governor's race topped the ballot Saturday, with Gov. John Bel Edwards facing five opponents.
His two major opponents are Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and Republican businessman Eddie Rispone.
Edwards needs cross-party support to win, and he needs to top 50% voter support to avoid a Nov. 16 runoff.
The race has drawn national GOP interest, with President Donald Trump rallying Louisiana Republicans on election eve, urging them to vote against Edwards.
Also on the ballot, six other statewide elected officials in Louisiana were trying to win new terms in office.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is vying for a second term as the Deep South's only Democratic governor.
But that is not the only race on the ballot Saturday.
Six Republican incumbents are seeking reelection to their statewide positions.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, Attorney General Jeff Landry, Treasurer John Schroder, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon are all running for another term.
The races for lieutenant governor, attorney general and insurance commissioner are certain to be settled Saturday, with only two contenders in each race.
Voters are also deciding on four proposals to change the Louisiana Constitution.
State House and Senate seats also are up for grabs, with many of them open because of term limits.
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10/12/2019 9:48:29 PM (GMT -5:00)