BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) — The nation’s highest-profile Republicans show no signs of staying out of Louisiana’s gubernatorial race — even if they stave from endorsing one GOP contender over another.
President Donald Trump plans to spend Friday in Lake Charles with GOP challengers Eddie Rispone and Rep. Ralph Abraham. The president has argued that voting for either Republican would help keep Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards from reaching the 50 percent threshold needed to win a second term outright.
The president’s trip will follow similar stops that members of his inner circle have made over the past few days.
“It’s my great honor to be here with two great Republican candidates,” Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday in Kenner, near New Orleans.
“By giving one of these guys a shot, you actually have nothing to lose and everything to gain, because the status quo sucks right now,” first son Donald Trump, Jr. told Republican voters Monday in Lafayette.
There’s a strategy behind the White House’s dual endorsement. Poll numbers released Monday show Abraham and Rispone neck-and-neck ahead of the Oct. 12 open primary, and ranking Republicans do not want to alienate voters within their party.
“I’m sure the president hedged his bets because the polling he probably has access to is showing that the race is relatively close between Abraham and Rispone,” political pollster John Couvillon told BRProud.com.
Despite the inner-party rivalry, both Abraham and Rispone agree that visits from President Trump and company will help both their cases before Primary Day.