Baton Rouge Businessman Eddie Rispone announced he’s officially joining the 2019 race for the Governor’s Mansion. The wealthy Republican is the first to throw his hat in the ring for next year. LaPolitics.com Publisher Jeremy Alford says Rispone is a formidable challenger.
“He is most certainly a conservative in the traditional sense, a very prominent name in the business community, and a soft spoken Republican who cut his teeth in the business world.”
Senator John Kennedy, Attorney General Jeff Landry, and Congressman Ralph Abraham are reportedly also considering runs for the office.
The businessman has long been a prominent state Republican donor, and Alford says around the Capitol, he’s known as a man with a keen interest in education issues.
“We’ve seen Eddie Rispone step forward on charter school issues, tenure, and his team tends to get involved in most of the really big issues that are moving through the education committee.”
Rispone says he’ll make a full campaign announcement after the November elections, where he plans to spell out his platform and reasons for running. He says he announced early to get a head start on fundraising.
And Rispone’s got some money too. An AP report says he’ll be setting aside five million dollars of his own money for the run, and is seeking to raise another three to five million to boost his odds. Alford says Rispone’s wealth gives him a unique advantage in the race.
“He’ll be able to, as much as he wants, self-fund. As far as I can see in the developing field he’s the only one that has the resources to do that.”
Recent reporting put Governor John Bel Edwards’ war chest at five million dollars.