Gov. John Bel Edwards defeated opponent Eddie Rispone to continue serving as the state’s top official in a close, neck-and-neck race Saturday.
West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Mike Cazes also earned the right to continue serving over opponent Mike Zito, winning another four-year term in a close runoff race.
Cazes collected 51 percent, or 5,735 votes, while Zito earned 49 percent of the votes cast, or 5,493. The margin of victory for the long-serving sheriff was a mere 242 votes. Both men are Democrats.
The Edwards-Rispone matchup resulted in the lead changing several times over the course of the night as results came in.
When all the votes were counted, Edwards garnered 774,469, 51 percent, while Rispone’s total vote count was 734,128, a margin of just over 40.000.
“I’d like to congratulate Gov. Edwards on his re-election. We may not always agree, but we will continue working together on important issues, including coastal restoration and opioid addiction,” said U.S. Rep. Garret Graves.
Rispone, though, led for most of the night as parishes reported results to the Secretary of State’s Office. At one point, the businessman led the incumbent by over 10,000, but he could not hold that lead.
Edwards carried West Baton Rouge Parish by a much wider margin with 57 percent, 6,501 votes, to Rispone’s 43 percent, or 4,823 votes.
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin was also forced into a runoff, facing three opponents in the Oct. 12 primary.
On Saturday, he carried the state by a 59 to 41 percent margin over Gwen Collins-Greenup. Ardoin was the recipient of 867,456 votes while Collins-Greenup picked up 601,110.
Ardoin carried West Baton Rouge by a similar margin with 56 percent of the votes cast in the runoff, or 6,204, compared to Collins-Greenup, who earned 44 percent of the parish’s votes, 4,934.