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Louisiana governor candidate Rispone releases first TV ad

July 23, 2019
FILE - In this March 18, 2019, file photo, Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone speaks at a business event hosted by the Republican Governors Association in Baton Rouge, La. Rispone, one of the Republican candidates in the Louisiana governor's race has released his first TV ad, touting support of President Donald Trump. Rispone's 30-second spot began airing statewide Tuesday, July 23, 2019 in what his campaign described as a $1 million media buy. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)
FILE - In this March 18, 2019, file photo, Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone speaks at a business event hosted by the Republican Governors Association in Baton Rouge, La. Rispone, one of the Republican candidates in the Louisiana governor's race has released his first TV ad, touting support of President Donald Trump. Rispone's 30-second spot began airing statewide Tuesday, July 23, 2019 in what his campaign described as a $1 million media buy. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — One of the Republican candidates in the Louisiana governor’s race, businessman Eddie Rispone, released his first TV ad Tuesday, touting his support of President Donald Trump as his introduction to voters, rather than a more traditional biographical spot.

Rispone’s 30-second ad is airing statewide, with his campaign saying it’s spending $1 million to run the ad in every major Louisiana media market.

The ad doesn’t mention Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards or Rispone’s other GOP competitor, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham. Instead, the spot focuses entirely on Rispone’s support for the Republican president.

“As governor, I will work with President Trump to protect our constitutional rights, to ban sanctuary cities and to end taxpayer benefits for illegal immigrants in Louisiana,” Rispone says. He ends by saying: “I’m Eddie Rispone, and I stand with President Trump.”

Rispone, a longtime donor to conservative causes and first-time candidate from Baton Rouge, doesn’t talk about state-specific issues in the ad or explain much of his background. He’s described in the television spot as a “conservative outsider.” With lagging name identification in recent polls, Rispone appears to be trying to link his first appearance to many voters with a president whose popularity remains strong in Louisiana.

With the launch, Rispone’s campaign says it intends to remain on television with advertising until the Oct. 12 election.

Edwards, the Deep South’s only Democratic governor, went up on TV earlier this month , and his campaign also said the advertising will continue for the duration of the election cycle. His latest TV ad, released Tuesday, focuses on Edwards’ time as an Army Ranger and his family’s law enforcement background. Edwards’ campaign described a statewide, “seven-figure ad buy” for the new spot.

Abraham, a doctor from Richland Parish who has far fewer dollars in his campaign account, hasn’t said when he’ll start his TV ad campaign.

The latest finance disclosures, filed last week with Louisiana’s ethics administration office, showed Abraham had $1.3 million cash on hand for his campaign at the end of the last reporting period, compared to $9.6 million for Edwards and $9.8 million for Rispone. Rispone has largely self-financed his gubernatorial effort, loaning his campaign $10 million.

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Follow Melinda Deslatte on Twitter at http://twitter.com/melindadeslatte

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