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capitol access

Aurianna Cordero / LSU Reveille

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards will face Republican businessman Eddie Rispone in a November 16 runoff election after Saturday's gubernatorial primary.

Democrat John Bel Edwards was the leading vote getter, winning 47% of the total cast. But the incumbent fell short of the 50% threshold to win the election outright.

That means Edwards will square off against Rispone, who came in second place and edged out Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham.

Paul Braun / WRKF

Controversies in national politics have simmered on the back-burner in the Louisiana Governor's race for months. However, over the weekend President Donald Trump and his allies turned up the heat, announcing a flurry of campaign events in the state in the last days before the October 12 primary.

Vice President Mike Pence appeared at a "Unity Rally" for U.S. Congressman Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone, the top-two GOP challengers in the race. Donald Trump Jr. headlined a similar event in Lafayette on Monday, and President Donald Trump will hold a rally on Friday.

On this week's Capitol Access, Stephanie Grace, columnist for The New Orleans Advocate/Times-Picayune discusses how that could affect the Gov. John Bel Edwards reelection bid.

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

77,000 Louisianans made their way to the polls on Saturday, the first day of early voting in the October 12 election. That's the second highest first-day turnout for early voting ever and more than double the turnout on the same day in the last governor's race.

On this week's Capitol Access, pollster John Couvillon of JMC Analytics and Polling discusses how early voting is shaping elections across the state.

Aurianna Cordero / LSU Reveille

Gov. John Bel Edwards, Congressman Ralph Abraham and Baton Rouge business man Eddie Rispone faced off last week for the first of three televised debates ahead of the October 12th election.

In a race that's largely been contested through TV ads and press releases, the appearance marked the first time the three candidates met face-to-face to discuss the issues and take jabs at each other.

Aurianna Cordero / LSU Reveille

Incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, and Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham solidified themselves as the frontrunners of their respective parties Thursday night in the first gubernatorial debate of 2019.

Eddie Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman and self-described political outsider, dismissed Edwards and Abraham as “career politicians,” but struggled to provide detailed policy proposals of his own.

Wallis Watkins / WRKF

The Governor's race is heating up. As we approach the October 12 primary, the three major candidates vying to become the state's chief executive, and their supporters, have flooded the airwaves with their pitches to Louisiana voters.

And claims about the economy are front-and-center. 

With candidates referencing their own economic statistics and offering conflicting outlooks, it can be hard for voters to know what to think.

On this week's Capitol Access, Greg Albrecht, chief economist of Louisiana's Legislative Fiscal Office, provides some non-partisan context.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ASSOCIATION

It’s been nearly a year since trade tensions between China and the U.S. began escalating. Since then, both countries have introduced several rounds of tariffs, hitting multiple industries in Louisiana.

On this week's Capitol Access, Greg Upton, an assistant research professor at LSU’s Center for Energy Studies, discusses the impact in Louisiana so far. 

Wallis Watkins

The call to rewrite Louisiana’s constitution, adopted in 1974, has been growing over the last few years. But inside the Capitol, lawmakers haven’t been able to get enough support to approve a constitutional convention. The non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) of Louisiana published a report recently, calling the state's constitution one of the major issues in this year’s gubernatorial and legislative races.

CC0 PUBLIC DOMAIN

A new law will take effect in August establishing a minimum age for marriage in Louisiana.

In order to get married, a person must be at least 16 years old — an age limit the state previously hasn’t had. Any 16 and 17-year-olds will have to have both parental and judicial consent and can’t marry anyone more than three years older.

On this week's Capitol Access, Morgan Lamandre, legal director with Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR), discusses the new law and how it moved through the Legislature.

Wallis Watkins

In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Trump announced plans to eliminate the spread of new HIV cases in the U.S. by 2030. The initiative will focus on 48 areas across the country seeing the majority of new HIV cases, including East Baton Rouge and Orleans parishes.

The first round of funding was recently announced and sends $1.5 million to East Baton Rouge Parish.

On this week's Capitol Access, Dr. Alexander Billioux, Assistant Secretary of Louisiana's Office of Public Health, talks about what the investment could mean for HIV care in the state. 

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