Edwards wins governor's race, Vitter won't seek Senate re-election
BATON ROUGE - John Bel Edwards declared victory over David Vitter Saturday night as he was projected to win the governor's seat.
Edwards pulled in around 140,000 votes more than David Vitter in the final unofficial tally, a 56-44 margin.
Edwards' camp in New Orleans erupted into cheers and song, singing "Who Dat Say They Gonna Beat John Bel." Edwards also released a statement thanking his supporters and promising to work with other state leaders to solve Louisiana's problems.
"I promise you tonight that I will always do what is best for all Louisianians -- for our children, our veterans, our senior citizens. I believe Louisiana is worth fighting for," Edwards said. "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to lead our state."
Vitter said in his concession speech he will also not seek re-election to the Senate. He said he's reached his "personal term limit" and will pursue other challenges outside politics after his final year is up.
The race was a bitter fight between Edwards and Vitter since the October primary. Edwards made the central issue of the race Vitter's integrity and trustworthiness, continuously bringing up a years-old prostitution scandal the Republican senator had been ensnared in.
Vitter tried to rally conservative vote by trying Edwards to President Barack Obama, especially on the question of Syrian refugees. Both Vitter and Edwards told the White House they want a halt to refugees being placed in Louisiana, though Vitter said Edwards flip-flopped by doing so.
The winner will follow term-limited Republican Bobby Jindal into the governor's mansion, taking over a state awash in financial problems.