Republican challengers avoid inner-party jabs in La. governor’s race

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Former President Ronald Reagan popularized a so-called Eleventh Commandment — “thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” The motto seemed to re-surface Tuesday, as a candidate for Louisiana governor addressed a G.O.P. luncheon that bears the late commander-in-chief’s name.

At the East Baton Rouge Parish Republican Party’s Ronald Reagan luncheon, Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone showed little ire toward U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, a fellow Republican seeking the state’s highest elected role. He instead squared aim at Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.

“I think we have two Republicans running against the Democrat to get rid of that Democrat,” Rispone said. “That’s a good thing. You can applaud to that.”

Without anti-Abraham jabs, Rispone pitched himself as the race’s outsider, an entrepreneur whose lack of prior office can command clout when angling for tighter budgets and lower taxes.

“We have a governor who creates jobs for plaintiff attorneys and bureaucrats,” he said. “We’ve got to do something different there, folks.”

“A businessperson who has been an entrepreneur for over 40 years is going to go right in there, find the right people in place, ask the right questions and move forward,” Rispone added.

It still remains unclear whether the Republican challengers will pivot more against one another before the Oct. 12 election or if they’ll simply task voters to do the choosing for them.

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