Oct 15, 2023 - Politics

Jeff Landry elected governor in Louisiana's primary

Jeff Landry speaks into a microphone.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry was elected to be the state's next governor in its jungle primary Saturday, Oct. 14. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Republican Jeff Landry was elected governor Saturday, ending Louisiana's run as the lone Democratic-led state in the Deep South.

Why it matters: The decisive victory for Landry, known as the "combative Cajun," marks a hard right turn for Louisiana after eight years under Democrat John Bel Edwards.

How it happened: Landry won with 51.56% of votes in the state's "jungle primary" Saturday, which allows voters to select any candidate regardless of affiliation. If any candidate receives more than half the vote, there is no runoff.

  • Overall turnout was less than expected, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune reports, and the lone Democrat in the race, Shawn Wilson, relied on strong turnout in the state's urban centers, according to the Louisiana Illuminator.
  • Landry declined to participate in most of the pre-election debates.
  • Still, Landry campaigned heavily and snagged endorsements from former president Donald Trump, Rep. Steve Scalise and other Republican leaders.

Zoom out: The primary had Louisiana voters casting ballots for nearly every statewide office, plus local races, constitutional amendments and local ordinances.

  • Among the other decisive victors was Republican Billy Nungesser, who keeps his seat as lieutenant governor, and progressive state Rep. Mandie Landry, whose hotly contested race laid bare the bickering in the state's Democratic party.
  • Voters also said "yes" to each of the state's four constitutional amendments.
  • Other races will head to runoffs in November, including secretary of state, treasurer and attorney general.

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