Candidates lined up to qualify for the governor’s race at the Secretary of State’s office today with the two Republicans taking turns blasting Governor Edwards, while Edwards himself touted the state’s recovery from the Jindal years.

Baton Rouge Businessman Eddie Rispone is one of two Republicans taking on Governor Edwards. He says Louisiana’s bottom of the barrel rankings are unacceptable. “If LSU was last in the SEC, not in the country but in the SEC, what would happen if they were last in academics and athletics? We would fire the President, the Provost, the Deans, the coaches, and the poor bat girl.”

He says he’ll be focusing on illegal immigration in the state and pushing to repeal the sales tax passed in 2018.

“You have an opportunity to elect someone who is a pro-Trump, conservative, outsider with serious business skills. Someone who is not beholden to special interests, someone to go up against the status quo.”

Rispone is a construction magnate who made a name for himself at the Capitol advocating for charter schools.

Congressman Ralph Abraham says Governor Edwards’ tax increases are driving residents and businesses out of the state by the thousands.

“We in this room know that in the last three years that we have lost about 70,000 good and wonderful Louisiana residents.”

Abraham says it’s time for the gov to go, but it turns out they do agree on one item. The Congressman says if elected he would maintain Governor Edwards’ Medicaid expansion, but adds his proposed tax cuts would lessen the need for the program as more businesses return to the state. “We will get those people who are on the expansion because we will lower those tax rates, we will get those people back on their private insurance, where they want to be.”

Governor John Bel Edwards files paperwork qualifying to run for reelection. Edwards says he’s excited about the opportunity to preserve the momentum Louisiana has gained since he has taken office. “We have put the largest budget deficit in the history of our state firmly in the rearview mirror. We are moving forward on a road to more progress, and I am excited about the way the economy is performing.”

Edwards says his plans for his next term is to continue to invest in education, with much of the focus being put on early childhood education.

“That’s how to you secure economic development projects and investment in Louisiana that creates the opportunity and the prosperity that we want.”