President Trump holds election eve rally in Lake Charles
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - President Donald Trump is in Louisiana ahead of Saturday's election for a last-minute rally aimed at peeling support from Gov. John Bel Edwards and keeping the Democratic incumbent from a primary win.
Trump tweeted Sunday about the get-out-the-vote event, saying he's working to elect "a great new Republican Governor!" He hasn't endorsed between GOP candidates Ralph Abraham and Eddie Rispone.
Going to Louisiana on Friday night for a big Republican Rally. Keep Democrat Governor Edwards under 50%, force a runoff, and have a great new Republican Governor! Voting on Saturday. Information for Rally to follow.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2019
The president said he'll be in Louisiana on Friday night.
According to The Advocate, Edwards' spokesman Eric Holl waved off Trump's plans to rally support for his Republican rivals.
"It's no surprise that the president is supporting members of his own political party," he said. "This last-minute rally is proof that the partisan forces in Washington realize that Gov. Edwards is supported by a wide range of people in Louisiana, from every political party and every background. Gov. Edwards has that support because he's put Louisiana first, working across party lines to turn a record deficit into a surplus, expand health care for working people and give teachers their first pay raise in a decade. Gov. Edwards will keep putting people over politics in his second term."
Following the announcement Ralph Abraham also released a statement that read the following.
“I’m excited to welcome my friend President Trump to Louisiana. In Congress, I've worked with our President to Make America Great Again. I can't wait to work with him as the next Governor of Louisiana.” - Ralph Abraham
The event will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at the James E. Sudduth Coliseum in Lake Charles. It is open the public but online registration will be required.
In Louisiana, all candidates run against each other, regardless of party, on the same primary ballot. Polls show Edwards well in the lead, ahead of his two main Republican challengers, within striking distance of topping 50% and reaching a primary win.
Trump's visit follows a GOP voter rally in Kenner featuring Vice President Mike Pence.