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Brusly attorney Jordan bests educator Lee in House District 29 race

Brusly attorney Edmond Jordan bested veteran educator Vereta Lee in a runoff election for the House District 29 seat on Saturday, according to complete but unofficial returns from the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office. Jordan captured 2,019 votes to 1,368 votes for Lee in the race for the seat that was left vacant after Ronnie Edwards… Continue reading →

Special election Saturday to fill House of Representatives seat held by Ronnie Edwards, who died in February

The runoff election to fill the unexpired term of former state Rep. Ronnie Edwards, of Baton Rouge, who died Feb. 24 from pancreatic cancer, will be held Saturday. House District 29 covers much of north Baton Rouge and crosses the Mississippi River to include Port Allen and Brusly. Brusly lawyer Edmond Jordan and East Baton Rouge… Continue reading →

Jordan, Lee square off Saturday in runoff to fill House seat left vacant by death of Ronnie Edwards

Edmond Jordan and Vereta Lee

A Brusly lawyer and an East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member from north Baton Rouge are getting another shot this Saturday to represent House District 29 in the Louisiana Legislature. Ronnie Edwards died Feb. 24 from pancreatic cancer, just weeks after taking office. Attorney Edmond Jordan and veteran educator Vereta Lee, who both… Continue reading →

Louisiana GOP congressional delegation unites behind Donald Trump

Though Louisiana Republicans talked of lawsuits over how delegates were allotted after the presidential primary in March, they closed ranks Wednesday after Donald Trump became the party’s presumptive nominee for president. “I’ve always said that I will support the Republican nominee,” said U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, of Jefferson. “Now is the time for… Continue reading →

Getting a new ER, legalizing ATVs for roads, curbing children’s insurance are among the ideas of State Rep District 29 candidates

The candidates running for the open seat for District 29, pictured from left, Tyra Banks Sterling,  Victor Woods, Vereta Lee, Rev. Albert White and Edmond Jordan.

Improving access to health care in north Baton Rouge, raising the minimum wage and addressing the shortfall in the state budget are recurring themes among the candidates running for the open seat for District 29 of the Louisiana House of Representatives. Five candidates, all Democrats, are vying for the elected office left by Ronnie Edwards, who Continue reading →

Can John Kennedy donate leftover $2.85M in campaign funds to Super PAC? National experts weigh in

Treasurer John Kennedy

Treasurer John N. Kennedy has statewide name recognition, but another big reason why he’s considered a leading candidate for the U.S. Senate is because he sits on nearly $3 million in campaign contributions. But some of Kennedy’s GOP opponents question whether Kennedy can shift that money to a federal Super PAC, formed by a longtime… Continue reading →

Early voting starts Saturday; legislative seat, tax measures among items on April 9 ballot

On both banks of the Mississippi, throughout the Florida Parishes and across Louisiana, the April 9 election actually begins Saturday with the start of early voting. A Baton Rouge-area seat in the state Legislature is up for grabs, as is the mayorship and several council seats in Baker. The Florida Parishes Juvenile… Continue reading →

Five Democrats qualify to fill Ronnie Edwards’ seat for Louisiana state representative election

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- The desk of State Rep. Ronnie Edwards, D-Baton Rouge, in the House Chamber at the State Capitol is covered with flowers, and her empty chair draped in black on Thursday, as members mourn her Wednesday death at the age of 63, which ended her battle with late stage pancreatic cancer. While Edwards was recently sworn into the Louisiana Legislature, shes better known for her six years serving the Baton Rouge Metro Council, where she was known for her passion for affordable housing and her warm demeanor.

Five candidates are running for the open seat in the state House of Representatives left vacant by Ronnie Edwards, who died late last month after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. The special election to fill the District 29 seat, which makes up much of north Baton Rouge as well as Port… Continue reading →

Election Day votes shifted to Ted Cruz in Louisiana primary, after Donald Trump led early vote

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a campaign stop in Florence, Miss., Monday, March 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Louisiana was added to the growing list of states that GOP front-runner Donald Trump has won after Saturday’s presidential primary, but a deeper analysis shows that the state’s Republicans shifted toward U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on election day and the difference in delegates awarded may be a wash. Based on complete but unofficial returns, the state… Continue reading →

Donald Trump’s Louisiana victory rooted in New Orleans suburban vote

Donald Trump won 47 of the state’s 64 parishes in Louisiana’s Republican presidential primary, but his margin of victory came from racking up big vote totals in the New Orleans suburbs. In most parishes, only a few percentage points separated the New York developer and reality television show host from his chief rival, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz,… Continue reading →

Voters elect Carl Dunn as Baker’s new police chief; Dawn Collins elected to East Baton Rouge School Board

Voters elected Carl Dunn as the new police chief in the city of Baker on Saturday, while also picking Dawn Collins as the next East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member representing District 4. The north Baton Rouge-based School Board seat was left vacant by board veteran Tarvald Smith’s election last fall as a City… Continue reading →

Hillary Clinton wins Louisiana’s Democratic primary, Donald Trump takes GOP, campaigns tout the big wins

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP Voter Verna Woods, left, places a I Voted sticker on her after voting Saturday March 5, 2016 during the Louisiana Presidential Primary at the Domingue Recreational Center in Lafayette, La.. Polling commissioner John Thomas looks on.

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump won their respective primaries in Louisiana on Saturday, with both races called shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m. The wins were seen as big for both campaigns. Former Secretary of State Clinton has made Southern states a focus of her campaign for the Democratic nomination, and New York… Continue reading →

ELECTION CENTRAL: What’s on ballot, a Louisiana delegate explanation, more coverage of Saturday's presidential primaries

Advocate File Photo -- A Baton Rouge precinct voting sign.

Louisiana’s presidential primaries are Saturday. Here’s everything you need to know ... Continue reading →

In Louisiana, robust early voting turnout for presidential primary

Nearly 100,000 ballots have already been cast in Louisiana’s presidential primary, following a week of robust early voting turnout. According to the Secretary of State’s Office, more than twice as many people voted early this year than did in the 2012 presidential primary — likely due to the heated contests on both sides of the aisle.… Continue reading →

Four candidates vying for Baker mayor's job in March 5 election

Pictured from left,  Joyce Burges, Leroy Davis, Carlon Frank Simpson and Darnell DA-1 Waites

After one candidate withdrew from the Baker mayoral race, four candidates remain, all vying to replace Harold Rideau after a March 5 election. Joyce Burges, Leroy Davis, Carlon “Frank” Simpson and Darnell “DA-1” Waites, all Democrats, are campaigning to succeed Rideau, who has served as Baker mayor since 2004. Most of the candidates plan,… Continue reading →

Louisiana voters kick off early voting in presidential primary

Thousands of Louisiana residents headed to the polls on Saturday — the first day of early voting in the presidential primary here. While the headlines this weekend have been about the fallout from the South Carolina Republican primary and Nevada’s Democratic caucuses, early voting continues in Louisiana through Saturday. Voters can cast their ballots daily from 8:30… Continue reading →

Assumption Parish sheriff resigns; chief deputy to run agency until sheriff-elect takes office

Sheriff Mike Waguespack

After 16 years as Assumption Parish sheriff, Mike Waguespack retired suddenly Wednesday, saying he has accepted a job with a private firm. Waguespack, who is a certified public accountant, ran for his first term in office in 2000 on the promise to run the Sheriff’s Office like a business. Waguespack said Thursday that he resigned… Continue reading →

'Drastic change' coming as Louisiana shifting to iPad voting, and it won't be cheap

Photo provided by Secretary of State -- Vendors show Louisiana elections officials want to replace the state's 10,000 voting machines with tablet computers.

When Louisiana voters go to the polls to elect a governor in 2019 — if all goes to plan — they will cast their ballots on iPads. Secretary of State Tom Schedler said he’ll ask the incoming administration of Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards and the Legislature for money to roll out this new way of voting.… Continue reading →

Scott Angelle looks at U.S. Senate race, will anounce his decision after holidays

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Scott Angelle speaks at the Acadiana Center for the Arts on election night.

Scott Angelle, who scored a strong third in the governor’s race, said Monday he’s considering a run for the U.S. Senate, and will announce a decision after the holidays. Angelle’s first public comments about his political future come after an independent poll released this week show him with significant leads over likely Republican opponents.… Continue reading →

Jay Dardenne reveals team as he preps to take over as Louisiana's commissioner of administration

Jay Dardenne has started putting together his team for when he takes over as commissioner of administration for incoming Governor-elect John Bel Edwards. Barbara Goodson, deputy commissioner for finance and administration at the Board of Regents, will become Lt. Gov. Dardenne’s chief assistant as deputy commissioner of administration. She held the post from 2008 to 2010. Dardenne also tapped Monday… Continue reading →

'You’re crazy if you believe that': John Bel Edwards takes remarkable journey to improbable landslide in governor's race

Image from video provided by John Bel Edwards -- Louisiana Democratic Gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards is pictured here in a political advertisement promoting his campaign. ORG XMIT: BAT1510271533063521

One day in early 2013, two seatmates in the Louisiana House — Reps. John Bel Edwards and Sam Jones — were discussing a familiar topic: their belief that Gov. Bobby Jindal was leading the state in the wrong direction. Edwards looked intently at his friend. “Sam, I’ve had enough of fighting with this guy,” Edwards said.… Continue reading →

Governor-elect John Bel Edwards grew up on small-town values, was taught politics a noble calling

Not quite a tow-headed boy carrying a pole to the fishing hole with his father the sheriff, but Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards grew up the son of the most important man in Tangipahoa Parish, running around a small rural town where everyone knew everyone else. “I grew up in… Continue reading →

Need a gig? John Bel Edwards launches new website, seeks applications for political positions

Looking for a job in Louisiana Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards’ administration? Edwards’ transition team launched a website Wednesday where people can apply on-line for a variety of politically appointed positions in the governor’s office and state agencies. The governor-elect’s website -- OnwardLouisiana.com -- contains a form for job seekers to fill out.… Continue reading →

How Bobby Jindal's meteoric rise in GOP ended with him crashing down to earth with failed presidential bid

Advocate Staff Photograph by Travis Spradling.Picture shot on 2-12-98 Secretary of the Louisiana Dept. of Health and Hospitals Bobby Jindal talks on camera  Thursday, discussing the new  gambling hotline billboards (like one background, on Florida Blvd. near Wooddale Blvd. ) while making a video feed for news stations around the state. The crew in the foreground includes (from left)  Randy Knaps,and David Landry, both of the local production company Digital FX, and DHH spokesman Rusty Jabour. (Knaps is correct) The project is sponsored by the La. Dept of Health and Hospitals, and the Lousiana Lottery Corporation.       Keyword Gambling abuse aid advertising

At 24, Bobby Jindal, an Ivy League graduate and Rhodes scholar, was picked by Gov. Mike Foster to head the state Department of Health and Hospitals, commanding an agency with 12,000 employees that accounted for 40 percent of the state budget. At 28, he was appointed the youngest… Continue reading →

With Bobby Jindal exit, GOP candidate Jeb Bush names Louisiana campaign team

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s campaign on Tuesday named his Louisiana steering committee and finance chairs. St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister; state Sen. Conrad Appel, of Metairie; state Rep. Nancy Landry, of Lafayette; and former state Commissioner of Elections Suzie Terrell will work to build Bush’s grass-roots infrastructure. Fundraising efforts will be led by New… Continue reading →

GOP leader says Edwards backs New Orleans Democrat for House speaker

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- In his first major address since winning election Saturday, Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards spoke Monday at the Louisiana Federation of Teachers Convention on Monday.

Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards told Republican House leaders Tuesday that he backs New Orleans Rep. Walt Leger III, a fellow Democrat, as speaker of the Louisiana House. “He told me that this afternoon at a meeting,” House Republican Majority Leader Lance Harris said in an interview Tuesday night while driving to his home in Alexandria. “I… Continue reading →

Lt. Gov.-elect Billy Nungesser: 'I'm not giving anybody a pink slip'

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Lt. Gov. candidates  Billy Nungesser, left, and Kip Holden, right, speak at the BR Press Club.

. Lt. Gov.-elect Billy Nungesser visited his soon-to-be state offices Monday, assuring employees they would still have a job after his January inauguration if they wanted it. “I’m not going in there and cleaning house. That doesn’t benefit anybody,” Nungesser said. “I’m not giving anybody a pink slip. I’m going to call every one of them personally and… Continue reading →

Pollster: David Vitter’s campaign doomed by divided GOP base, unpopular incumbent, methodical opponent

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Gubernatorial candidate David Vitter announces endorsements from LABI, Louisiana Home Builders Association, ABC Merit PAC and ABC Pelican PAC.

Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s campaign for governor was doomed by a fractured GOP base and a methodical Democratic opponent in Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards, according to an analysis of Saturday’s runoff results. John Couvillon, of JMC Analytics, said during the Press Club of Baton Rouge lunch on Monday that Edwards’ landslide win doesn’t mean the state… Continue reading →

Why Medicaid expansion supporters say they can't just halt efforts just because John Bel Edwards is governor-elect

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- In his first major address since winning election Saturday, Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards spoke Monday at the Louisiana Federation of Teachers Convention on Monday.

Just because Democratic Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards favors Medicaid expansion, it’s not time for its supporters to get complacent, a Together Louisiana leader said Monday. Governors of Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, Florida, Missouri and Virginia have backed Medicaid expansion only to have their Legislatures veto the idea, the Rev. Lee T. Wesley said. “We are committed… Continue reading →

Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards names chief of staff and transition team, faces questions about Medicaid expansion

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Louisiana Governor Elect John Bel Edwards speaks about his plans after winning the election the day before at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. He has chosen Senator Ben W. Nevers, right, as Chief of Staff

So now what? Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards began answering those questions Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after being elected governor, as he hired a chief of staff, named six co-chairs to oversee the transition and backed away from his campaign promise to expand Medicaid to the working poor on his first day in office. In… Continue reading →

David Vitter’s decision not to run for third Senate term opens race for Republicans

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Sen. David Vitter and wife Wendy greet supporters after conceding to John Bel Edwards in the runoff for governor Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, during his election-night party at the Airport Hilton in Kenner.

If nothing else, David Vitter simplified the 2016 U.S. Senate election in Louisiana with his announcement Saturday night after losing the governor’s race that he won’t try for a third term in the Senate next year. Now that the 2016 election shapes up as an ordinary contest for an open Senate seat, it likely will draw a… Continue reading →

Plenty of cash spending, mud slinging gives way to Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards' historic win over David Vitter

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- John Bel Edwards get a hug from his wife, Donna, after at the Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans, La. Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, after defeating David Vitter to become governor of Louisiana.

. John Bel Edwards, a former U.S. Army Ranger and small-town lawyer, soundly defeated once-invincible Republican David Vitter to become the first Democratic governor elected in the Deep South in more than a decade. The two-term legislator, who was elected to his first office in 2007, also ended the Democratic Party’s losing streak of 15 statewide races.… Continue reading →

Across Louisiana, new attorney general, lieutenant governor create Republican stronghold on statewide offices

Kip Holden

. Former U.S. congressman Jeff Landry ousted two-term Attorney General Buddy Caldwell in a nasty Republican battle that exposed the wide political chasm within party ranks Meanwhile, Republican Billy Nungesser — the former Plaquemines Parish leader and vocal BP critic — outdistanced Democratic Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden for lieutenant governor — dashing Holden’s hope of… Continue reading →