Government & Politics

John Bel Edwards throws elbow to Landrieu in re-election congratulations

First came the compliments. Then came the veiled warning.

In a press release Monday, state Rep. John Bel Edwards of Amite congratulated New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu for his re-election Saturday. Then Edwards, an announced candidate in next year’s gubernatorial election, threw the first elbow among potential Democratic contenders.

He noted that almost two-thirds of voters in New Orleans are Democrats, but turnout in the mayor’s race was only about 34 percent.

“This kind of turnout tells us that a successful statewide candidate must possess the shared values of the people of our state,” said Edwards, who is the House Democrats’ leader.

Landrieu was elected twice as lieutenant governor, and many political insiders believe that he, too, will run for governor next year. However, when asked in Thursday’s WWL-TV debate if he would serve his full term, Landrieu responded, “Yes.”

Edwards threw another elbow on that point, suggesting Landrieu “might backpedal” on that promise. “I can tell you that when I make a promise, I keep it,” Edwards said in the news release.

Ryan Berni, who was Landrieu’s spokesman during the mayoral campaign, did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

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