Gov. Edwards launches campaign: ‘We are truly better off’

Gov. Edwards launches campaign: 'We are truly better off'
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Gov. John Bel Edwards said securing a teacher pay raise is his top priority for 2019. Greg Hilburn/USA Today Network Gov. John Bel Edwards officially launched his reelection campaign Tuesday, touting a stabilized state budget and Louisiana’s emergence from a recession under his watch. “We are truly better off than we were three years ago," Edwards said in a video released Monday. "And we’re working hard to make it even better." Edwards is determined to keep the Democrats’ only gubernatorial foothold in the Deep South, but he has already drawn two Republican challengers in Congressman Ralph Abraham of Alto and wealthy Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone. President Trump as reappointed Gov. John Bel Edwards to the Council of Governors. And Republican state Sen. Sharon Hewitt and former GOP Congressman John Fleming are waiting in the wings weighing whether to join the race. Edwards noted the state faced a record $2 billion deficit when he took over from two-term Republican Bobby Jindal with safety net hospitals on the brink of closing and colleges and universities decimated by cuts. "In 2016 our hospitals and universities were in danger of closing their doors after suffering devastating cuts," the governor said in his video. "Now, they have the reliable funding needed to care for the sick and educate our children." Edwards and the Legislature closed the initial $2 billion deficit with a temporary 1-cent sales tax that expired last year. It was replaced by the Legislature and Edwards during a Special Session with […]

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