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Abraham starts putting own cash into Louisiana governor race
from The AP
October 3, 2019 -

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Republican Ralph Abraham has started pumping his own money into his campaign to be Louisiana governor, struggling to keep up with the spending pace of his competitors in his bid to unseat Democrat John Bel Edwards.

Latest finance reports in the race show the third-term congressman from rural northeast Louisiana has loaned his campaign $350,000 in the final stretch leading to the Oct. 12 election.

Abraham, a farmer and doctor who announced his campaign less than a year ago, has been unable to match the fundraising prowess of an incumbent governor who has been seeking donations across his four-year tenure.


Meanwhile, Abraham’s fellow GOP competitor, wealthy businessman Eddie Rispone, is largely self-financing his election bid, pouring more than $11 million into his campaign account. And some recent polls suggest Rispone has leap-frogged Abraham into second-place.

Reports filed Wednesday night with Louisiana’s ethics administration office show Abraham reporting less than $319,000 on hand as the campaign reaches its final week before the primary.

By comparison, Rispone reported $2.7 million in the bank. And Edwards was sitting on $3.2 million in the reports covering a 20-day fundraising and spending period through Sept. 22.

While Rispone and Edwards each shelled out more than $3 million to blanket the airwaves, websites and mailboxes with ads, Abraham spent less than $1 million during the same time. He hasn’t matched his opponents’ advertising reach, instead trying to fill the gaps with in-person appearances around the state, media interviews and endorsement events with local elected officials.

In addition, Abraham moved $30,000 from his congressional campaign fund to a super PAC supporting his candidacy, called Securing Louisiana’s Future.

Early voting continues through Saturday.

Polls show Edwards well ahead of his competitors, with Abraham and Rispone trying to keep him from an outright primary victory. In Louisiana, all contenders run on the same ballot regardless of party. If Edwards doesn’t top 50% of the vote on Oct. 12, he’ll face a head-to-head Nov. 16 matchup against the second-place finisher.

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