President Trump tweets encouragement for Republicans to vote for either Ralph Abraham or Eddie Rispone in the gubernatorial primary, calling them both “great”. Rispone has vaulted past Abraham in the polls for 2nd place with the help of some tough anti-Abraham attacks. UL Lafayette Poli Sci Professor Pearson Cross says Abraham needs to return fire.

“What he has to do right now is go after Eddie Rispone, reach out to Republican voters, and point out that he’s the person who has received the most endorsements for Republicans,” said Cross.

Abraham has racked up numerous local endorsements, while Rispone blasts the airwaves thanks to his ten-million-dollar self-financed warchest.

The state Republican party warned against intraparty attacks, saying it could lead to a second Edwards term. Cross says that’s a serious concern.

“It could be that by expending fire on each other they are letting Edwards get closer to that magical 50+1,” said Cross.

Recent polls put Governor Edwards in the upper 40s with roughly 15 percent of voters still undecided.

Cross says if Edwards dodges a run-off, expect the knives to come out for the Baton Rouge businessman.

“If both Republican candidates fall short we will see a lot of recrimination, and a lot of finger-pointing, and one of the fingers will be pointed at Rispone talking about how he went negative,” said Cross.

Abraham has a new ad that calls Rispone desperate and lying about his record.

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