VIDEO: Republican Jay Dardenne Endorses Democrat John Bel Edwards for Louisiana’s Next Governor
In the race for Louisiana governor, Republican David Vitter’s DC Super PAC ran attack ads against both Republican contenders, Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle.
The October 24, 2015, led to a runoff between the only Democrat John Bel Edwards, who led with 40 percent of the vote, and Vitter, who had 23 percent of the vote. The runoff is scheduled for November 21, 2015.
In his victory speech on October 24, 2015, Edwards invited both of the Republicans who lost, Angelle and Dardenne, to join his efforts to become Louisiana’s next governor.
Even at the risk of being shunned by the Republican Party, Dardenne took Edwards up on his offer at Louisiana State University’s Free Speech Alley, as WWL-TV reports on November 05, 2015:
Dardenne, who was the target of Vitter attack ads during the primary, announced his support for Edwards in “Free Speech Alley” in front of the LSU Student Union, a place he chose for the event.
He said Gov. Bobby Jindal has damaged the GOP brand in Louisiana and believes Vitter would damage it further, while he believes Edwards can unify the state. …
Edwards said he would consider offering Dardenne a place in his administration should he win but denied he promised Dardenne or anyone else a job in exchange for the endorsement.
Dardenne said he will remain a Republican, although he might no longer be welcome in the party.
Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus blistered Dardenne in a jointly written letter to the lieutenant governor, calling his endorsement of Edwards a betrayal. …
Vitter, who was more graceful in his response, had also sought Dardenne’s endorsement.
“We’re very excited about our campaign and the tens of thousands of conservative Louisiana voters who have jumped on board in the past week, including so many that voted for Jay,” Vitter said. “We wish Jay and his family the best.”
Angelle hasn’t endorsed either candidates and didn’t respond to Gannett Louisiana’s request for comment Thursday.
The fact that Angelle has not already publicly endorsed Vitter is significant. Some Angelle supporters are planning an Edwards fundraiser.
Edwards has made it clear that he does not view John White as fit to remain state superintendent. As political blogger Cenlamar reports in a November 02, 2015, post:
I do not believe John White can stay as Superintendent of Education while I am Governor. And to the extent that I can control that, that will not happen. Because I do not find him to be honest and credible when he deals with the legislature and other members of the public in Louisiana.
I know, for example, from some of his dealings with me, and some of the things he has said about me.
We know he went into a Senate Education Committee meeting with the intended purpose of muddying the water as opposed to telling the truth. He did it to promote a bill that was patently unconstitutional, that he had to have known was unconstitutional: funding vouchers through the Minimum Foundation Program. That is a problem for me.
There are plenty of fine educators in Louisiana who actually meet the qualifications for that office. They are experienced educators with credentials in education, and why we would not put one of those people in that office I will never understand. Why we would go out of state to find somebody who lacks the minimum credentials necessary to qualify for the office is beyond me. That is not the approach that I think we should be taking.
Watch Dardenne’s endorsement of Edwards and Edwards’ Response: