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Meet the Candidates: Three top candidates for Governor

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Posted at 3:57 PM, Oct 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-09 17:57:14-04

Three men are the top candidates for Governor of Louisiana.

U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham of Baton Rouge, Gov. John Bel Edwards of Baton Rouge and businessman "Eddie" Rispone of Baton Rouge are the top three polling candidates. Abraham and Rispone are Republicans; Edwards is a Democrat.

Each man has a website containing information about their platforms, background and positions. We've linked each website to each man's name above.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting held a debate featuring the candidates; you can watch it here.

Ralph Abraham

Abraham currently is a Congressman representing Louisiana in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Here's the bio from his website:

Ralph was born and raised in Louisiana. He grew up breaking horses and building fences on a farm in Richland Parish near where he and his wife of 43 years, Dianne, still reside today. Together, they have three grown children and nine grandchildren. They are members of Alto Baptist Church.

Ralph is currently serving his third term in Congress and represents Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District. He has served on half a dozen committees, including the House Agriculture Committee and the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. He has intimate knowledge and experience on a multitude of issues facing Louisiana.

Ralph is a general family doctor and has practiced his entire career in the rural Louisiana Delta where he has treated folks from all walks of life. He’s also spent 10 years as a veterinarian, served as a First Lieutenant in the Army National Guard, and volunteers as a pilot with the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Air Force’s Civil Air Patrol.

John Bel Edwards

Edwards currently is Governor of Louisiana.

Here's the bio from his website:

He is a 1988 Dean’s List graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. While at West Point, he was chosen by his classmates as the Vice Chairman of the Honor Committee In Charge of Investigations. After eight years of active duty with the US Army as an Airborne Ranger, culminating with command of a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he went on to graduate Order of the Coif from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

In his first term as governor, John Bel inherited the largest budget deficit in the state’s history. After years of hard work, he and a bipartisan group of legislators worked together to stabilize Louisiana’s budget for the first time in a decade. In addition, his tenure as governor has been marked by securing the largest economic development project in the state’s history, providing health care to the working poor, and working to make Louisiana’s economy the largest its ever been.

With a father who was the elected Sheriff of Tangipahoa Parish – the Edwards family has four generations of Tangipahoa Parish Sheriffs in their family lineage with John Bel’s brother Daniel currently serving as Sheriff – John Bel learned the importance of public service at an early age.

Eddie Rispone

Rispone is a businessman.

Here's the bio from his website:

Edward Rispone, is a lifelong Louisianan, avid outdoorsman, and Christian conservative candidate for Governor. Eddie loves Louisiana. Guided by his faith, family, and the blessing of God in his life, Eddie feels called to give back to the state that has given so much to him. Eddie is not a career politician. Eddie is a successful entrepreneur, business executive, and conservative outsider who has the experience and expertise to move our state forward.

Eddie grew up in a blue collar family of nine in North Baton Rouge. Early on, Eddie learned about faith, family, and personal responsibility. Eddie was raised with a strong work ethic and solid family values—he is pro-life, pro-family, and pro-Second Amendment. He knew that anything he wanted in life would only be achieved through hard work. Eddie began working construction with his older brother Sammy at age 15, a passion that would stay with him for decades.

Rispone received a Catholic education from Redemptorist High School, where he was a standout student athlete, earning all-state honors in football. Eddie is a graduate of LSU, holding a Bachelor of Science in Construction Technology.

In 1989, Eddie and his brother Jerry founded ISC Constructors. Under their leadership, ISC has grown into one of the largest specialty contractors in the United States with annual revenues of approximately $350 million and employing over 3,000 families. ISC is a nationally recognized job creator earning the prestigious Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Excellence in Construction National Project of the Year Award 34 times.

Eddie Rispone has had a considerable impact on the construction and business industries across Louisiana and the US. A proven job creator, Eddie is a staunch advocate for workforce development, limited government, lowering taxes, and reducing the burdens to do business in Louisiana. He’s been actively involved with Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) for over 30 years on a local, state and national level. He served as the 2003 ABC National Chairman and as the President of the Pelican Chapter in 1996.

Eddie knows what it takes to create jobs. In 2005, he spearheaded the Louisiana Craft Workforce Development Board which developed comprehensive recommendations to address the shortage of craftspersons in Louisiana. Later, Eddie was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council, where he advised the governor on the needs of Louisiana’s employers and its workforce.

Eddie and his wife, Linda, have been vocal advocates for educational opportunities for all of Louisiana’s children. In 2011, Eddie became chairman of the Louisiana Federation for Children, a project of the American Federation for Children whose main purpose is to improve publicly-funded education. Eddie stands with our children and believes parents should have the freedom to choose what is best for their child.

Eddie Rispone has been married to Linda Lemoine Rispone for 13 years and was previously married for 35 years to the late Phyllis Moberley. He and Linda were both widowed. Between them, they have seven children and 24 grandchildren.