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Louisiana voters took a significant step to the right on Saturday, as Republicans notched wins up and down the ballot, giving their party an outside chance of sweeping to power just ahead of a crucial redistricting cycle that could cement their control of the state for years to come.
Amid record turnout for what is usually a sleepy off-year, irregular election, Louisiana Republicans locked up enough seats in the state Senate to amount to a super majority. The party came within seven seats of winning a super majority in the state House, too, with eight runoff elections to come in November.
Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) easily led the field of candidates running for the state’s top office, but he did not win a majority of the vote, which would have allowed him to avoid the Nov. 16 runoff.
Instead, his two leading opponents — businessman Eddie Rispone (R) and Rep. Ralph Abraham (R) — captured a combined 52 percent of the vote. That gives Rispone, who finished about 4 percentage points ahead of Abraham, a path to win the runoff.