NEW ORLEANS — 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.