Political action committees outspend candidates in Louisiana governor’s race




Democrats are outspending Republicans in the Louisiana governor’s race, and political action committees are spending more than the candidates themselves, according to campaign finance records filed this week.

Incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards and Democratic PACs have spent more than $3.3 million this fall’s election.

That’s 23% more than the two Republican candidates and two GOP groups have disbursed.

Most of the money, regardless of party, has gone toward advertising on TV, radio, newspapers and online.

Baton Rouge businessman and major Republican donor Eddie Rispone has spent the most among the three major candidates so far this year. Records show his largely self-financed campaign spent $1.5 million as of July 4.

He outpaced the Edwards campaign by nearly $200,000 over the same period. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, reported spending more than $613,000.

Six political action committees have spent more than $2.5 million this year to influence the outcome of the Louisiana governor’s race. PACs allow donors to far exceed the campaign contribution limits for candidates.

The Democratic Governors Association led the way with more than $801,000, and $500,000 of that went to Gumbo PAC, another group backing Edwards.

Two Republican PACs have spent a combined $559,000. The lion’s share of that total came from the Republican Governors Association’s Right Direction PAC.

Its money has gone toward an advertising campaign that attacks Edwards’ record but doesn’t mention either of his opponents.

The spending is far from over with three months still to go before the primary election.

Edwards and Rispone each had more than $9 million left in their campaign accounts July 4.

Abraham reported having $1.3 million on hand.

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