Republican businessman to run for Louisiana governor in 2019
BATON ROUGE (AP) - Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has drawn his first Republican challenger in next year's governor's race.
Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone (RIHS-poh-nay) filed state paperwork Wednesday declaring his candidacy for the 2019 election.
Rispone tells The Associated Press: "I am definitely running. This is it."
Rispone, founder of an industrial contracting company, is a longtime donor to GOP and conservative campaigns and causes. The wealthy businessman says he plans to invest his own money in what will be an expensive governor's race.
Edwards, a Democrat seeking his second term, reported $5 million in his campaign account earlier this year. Rispone says he's setting aside a similar amount of his own money "to get started" and will start fundraising immediately.
Rispone says he'll make an official campaign announcement later this year.