Sep 14, 2023 - Politics

Louisiana governor's candidates head for 2nd debate

Illustration of an alligator wearing an "I Voted" sticker.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

When Louisianans head to the polls this fall, they'll cast votes in a statewide shuffle as most of the state's top offices are up for election.

Why it matters: Louisiana voters will cast ballots for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and treasurer, among other local elections and constitutional amendments.

Driving the news: Louisiana voters with a state driver's license or ID can register online until Sept. 23 to vote in the gubernatorial primary, which is Oct. 14.

  • Louisiana voters can also still register in-person or by mail, but they won't be able to vote until the general election.
  • The general election is scheduled for Nov. 18.

Zoom out: Voters will be replacing the term-limited Gov. John Bel Edwards, a rare Democrat in a typically red-leaning state.

  • Gubernatorial candidates are already hitting the debate circuit. At the first one, only the top five in polls of the 15 qualifiers were invited, but the frontrunner — current Attorney General Jeff Landry — declined over the participation of the Urban League, a nonpartisan civil rights organization.
  • That left four candidates to battle it out: GOP State Sen. Sharon Hewitt; independent Lake Charles attorney Hunter Lundy; state Treasurer John Schroder, a Republican; Republican former LABI head Stephen Waguespack, and a single Democrat, Shawn Wilson, the former transportation secretary.
  • The debate held few surprises, but the next, with Landry now involved, promises a few more sparks.
  • It's scheduled for Friday night in Lafayette, and will air locally on WGNO.

Choices, choices: The Secretary of State's website has been updated with sample ballots, so voters can already take a look at every choice they'll be asked to make at the polls this fall.

  • Log on to the SOS site and enter basic information — your name, ZIP code and birth month and year — and then click on "My Sample Ballot."

Of note: Elections in two statewide offices — including commissioners for the Department of Agriculture and Forestry and for the Insurance Department — are uncontested.

  • Mike Strain will continue in his role at Agriculture and Forestry, a position he's held since 2008.
  • Tim Temple will take over at Insurance. Current Commissioner Jim Donelon decided to step down after serving in the post since 2006.

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to note that the gubernatorial primary is Oct. 14, not Oct. 13.


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