Ralph Abraham (R)
Ralph Abraham (R)
John Bel Edwards (D-Incumbent)
John Bel Edwards (D-Incumbent)
Eddie Rispone (R)
Eddie Rispone (R)

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a nonpartisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included,,,, and public candidate statements. For guides to local races, see from the League of Women Voters and For more detailed information visit their pages. To volunteer, visit or   or eddieforgovernor.comWe aren’t including Gary Landrieu (I) due to space limitations & his polling less than 15%, but do check out his website. To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here.

Abortion: Mostly ban or mostly legal?

Abraham – Ban. Co-sponsored Life at Conception Act.

Bel Edwards – Ban. Signed bill to ban abortions once fetal heartbeat is detected.

Rispone – Ban. Is “pro-life, pro-God, and pro-family.”

Climate Change: Should government limit the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?

Abraham – Voted in Congress against reducing carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. voted for resolution against a carbon tax.

Bel Edwards – Unclear. Climate change “has to inform a lot of things we do in the state of Louisiana to prepare for disasters in the future.” Has not called for limits.

Rispone – No position found.

Criminal Justice: Support 2017 reforms that supported incarceration alternatives, reduced prison terms for those who can be safely supervised outside, and removed felon re-entry barriers?

Abraham – Oppose. Also voted against related federal bill. Charges that “repeat violent offenders have been released early, and committed new violent crimes.”

Bel Edwards – Support. Played major role in enacting them.

Rispone – No position found.

Economy: Support Trump tariffs on Chinese steel and other products?

Abraham – Yes. On agriculture, “there’s going to be some short-term pain, but the long-term benefits are going to be worth it.”

Bel Edwards – No. Says, “we’re seeing the negative effects these tariffs coming down from Washington will have on our economy.”

Rispone – No position found.

Education: Increase funding for K-12 education?

Abraham – Unclear. Co-sponsored  terminating  Department of Education, but says would increase funding for early-childhood education.

Bel Edwards – Yes. Signed state budget that included pay raise for teachers and other staff. Looking at “new sources” of revenue for early education.

Rispone – Yes. Through private school choice programs. Wants any teacher raises tied to individual teachers’ performances.

Education: Support expansion of charter schools or provide vouchers or tax breaks to parents to send their children to private schools with public money?

Abraham – Yes. Supports a “robust…statewide school choice plan,” including charter schools.

Bel Edwards – No. Opposes for-profit charter schools. Called Louisiana state voucher program “hastily conceived” and called for its overhaul.

Rispone – Yes. Use tax dollars to let parents send their children to Christian schools, or charter schools—or for home schooling.

Education: Increase state funding for higher education and financial aid for students?

Abraham – Supports investment in distance learning. Campaign website lists NSF grants received by LA schools. But these aren’t determined by Congress.

Bel Edwards – Yes. Proposed 2019-2020 school state budget includes a $47 million increase for higher education. Called for increases in Louisiana’s TOPS scholarship program.

Rispone – No position found.

Environment: Force oil companies to pay for restoration of damaged coastal wetlands?

Abraham – No. Says Edwards is waging “war on our oil and gas industry.

Bel Edwards – Yes. Supported parishes suing for paying for restoration costs of Coastal Master Plan.

Rispone – No. “Lawsuit abuse is killing thousands of jobs.”

Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

Abraham – No. “I believe in the traditional definition of marriage—one man, one woman.

Bel Edwards – No. But will enforce as “law of the land.” Issued executive order banning discrimination against LQBT community.

Rispone – No position found.

Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation?

Abraham – No. Voted against  requiring universal background checks. Opposes bump stock  restrictions.

Bel Edwards – Mixed. Supports 2nd Amend., but supports stronger background checks, banning bump stocks; raising age to buy semi-automatic rifles.

Rispone – No. Wants to “stand up to the radical Left and their gun grabbing agenda.

Healthcare: Support or Repeal Obamacare (ACA)? Accept ACA’s Medicaid expansion that Gov. Edwards initiated? 

Abraham – Voted to repeal ACA.  Favors replacement. Wouldn’t undo Louisiana Medicaid expansion, but get it “under control.

Bel Edwards – Strongly supports ACA.  Expanded Louisiana’s Medicaid to 500,000 low-income participants by executive order.

Rispone – No statements found on ACA. Disagrees with Medicaid expansion. Limit Medicaid to low-income people who qualify.

Marijuana: Legalize or decriminalize legalize marijuana? 

Abraham – No on recreational.  Current medical marijuana law OK, but don’t expand.

Bel Edwards – No on recreational. Expand medical marijuana qualifying conditions.

Rispone – No on recreational. Skeptical about medical marijuana; wants more information.

Minimum Wage: Raise the minimum wage?

Abraham – No. Increasing Federal minimum wage would “cost the US economy tens of billions of dollars.”

Bel Edwards – Yes. “Supports a modest but meaningful increase to Louisiana’s minimum wagefrom $7.25 to $9.00 an hour.

Rispone – No position found.

Renewable Energy: Support government subsidies for renewable energy?

Abraham – No. End wind energy tax credit. Opposed Pentagon paying above-market rate for renewable energy.

Bel Edwards – Yes. Prime initiative supported has been pilot for carbon recapture methanol plant.

Rispone – No position found.

Taxes: Support President Trump’s tax cuts? 

Abraham – Yes. Voted for Trump tax cuts.Will lead to a more prosperous America for all.”

Bel Edwards – Mixed. Supports Opportunity Zones Program. Amend penalties on privately held agriculture companies and taxes on families of fallen U.S. service members.

Rispone – Yes. “In 2017, Donald J. Trump implemented historic tax cuts that produced real results for the people of Louisiana.

Taxes: Support increased/decreased taxes on specific constituencies, like on the wealthy?

Abraham – No to “raising any taxes.” Eliminate federal estate tax. Across-the-board state corporate tax decrease.

Bel Edwards – Unclear. Negotiated with legislature for sales tax increase to address state deficits. Limits on Louisiana’s industrial tax break program.

Rispone – No on increasing. “We’re not going to raise taxes. Change state constitution so tax hikes are voted on by the general public.

Voting Rules: Support stricter voting rules such as voter ID requirements or reduced registration times, even if they prevent some people from voting?

Abraham – Probable yes. Voted against Democratic HR 1 act  that would expand voter registration & voting access & limit removing voters from voter rolls.

Bel Edwards – Mixed. Supports requiring voters to have ID, proof of citizenship, and “good reason” for mail voting. Signed law restoring felon voting rights after five years.

Rispone – No position found.