New Orleans: Democrats in Louisiana celebrated as they reclaimed the governor’s mansion in the southern state for the first time in eight years, while the state’s Republican leader insisted the party’s “brand is strong” even amid the defeat of a one-time political powerhouse, US Senator David Vitter.
Democrat John Bel Edwards’ victory in runoff election was once-unthinkable in the conservative state and a stunning turn of events for Vitter, who started his campaign nearly two years ago as the race’s front-runner.
With his 12-percentage point loss, Vitter announced he wouldn’t seek re-election to the Senate in 2016. Edwards’ win offered a rare pick-up of a governor’s seat for Democrats in the conservative South.
Republican Party of Louisiana Chairman Roger Villere pointed to victories for lieutenant governor and attorney general and gains in the state Legislature....