- Associated Press - Saturday, November 21, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The latest news in the 2015 Louisiana election (all times local):

10:06 p.m.

Democrat John Bel Edwards says Louisiana voters “have chosen hope over scorn, over negativity” in electing him as the state’s next governor.

With a brass band playing, Edwards led a second-line parade at his victory party Saturday night after speaking about his win over Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter.

He thanked those supporters who he said “believed we could confound the conventional wisdom that this victory just couldn’t happen.”

A state lawmaker, Edwards said he would work to unite Louisiana, and he repeated his campaign pledge: “I will always be honest with you. I will never embarrass you.”

Edwards is the first Democrat elected to statewide office in Louisiana since 2008, after voters handed a stunning rebuke to Vitter, a two-term senator and political powerhouse in the conservative state.


9:43 p.m.

Republican David Vitter says he is not going to run again for the U.S. Senate after losing in an upset race for governor to Democrat John Bel Edwards.

Vitter made the announcement during an appearance to campaign supporters in the New Orleans suburbs Saturday evening after it became apparent that he would not win the governor’s race.

Vitter, who has one year left in his second U.S. Senate term, told supporters that before entering the governor’s race, he and his wife had decided that he would not seek another term in the Senate.

The news marks a stunning fall for Vitter, who just months ago had been considered the front runner to replace term-limited Gov. Bobby Jindal.

9:22 p.m.

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell won’t keep his job for another term.

Republican challenger Jeff Landry defeated the GOP incumbent in Saturday night’s runoff election, ending Caldwell’s tenure as Louisiana’s top lawyer after two terms.

Landry, a one-term former congressman who received the endorsement of the state Republican Party, framed his entire campaign as a referendum on Caldwell’s performance in office.

He accused the attorney general of corruption and cronyism in doling out state legal contracts to his campaign contributors. Landry and other Caldwell critics who ran attack ads against him called it a “Buddy system.”

Caldwell talked of his experience after nearly 30 years as a northeast Louisiana district attorney. He said Landry had too little legal experience to run the state’s top law office.


9:12 p.m.

Republican Billy Nungesser will take over as Louisiana’s lieutenant governor in January, after defeating Democrat Kip Holden in the runoff election.

Nungesser, former president of Plaquemines Parish, coasted to an easy victory Saturday against Holden, after fighting for his spot in the runoff.

Holden spent little on the race, building his campaign on grassroots support and his name recognition after years as mayor of Baton Rouge.

Nungesser’s campaign, meanwhile, spent more than $2 million in the primary alone, building his name recognition in an attack-heavy slugfest with fellow Republican John Young, president of Jefferson Parish.

The lieutenant governor leads Louisiana’s Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and serves as the figurehead for the state’s $11 billion tourism industry. The job is open because Republican Jay Dardenne ran unsuccessfully for governor.


Democrat John Bel Edwards has won the runoff election for Louisiana governor, defeating the once-heavy favorite, Republican David Vitter, and handing the Democrats their first statewide victory since 2008.

Edwards, a state lawmaker, will take over the office from term-limited Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal in January.

Voters’ rejection of Vitter in the Saturday election was a stunning turn of events for the U.S. senator, who has been a political powerhouse in the state for years and started his campaign nearly two years ago as the race’s front-runner.

Edwards painted the race as a referendum on Vitter’s character and suggested the U.S. senator didn’t measure up in such a competition. Edwards focused on his West Point degree and military resume, and he pledged a bipartisan leadership style.

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