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The Latest: Edwards opponent says he has $5.5M for election

January 8, 2019
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks to the Press Club of Baton Rouge about his plans for 2019, on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La. The Democrat, who is running for re-election this fall, says he'll prioritize teacher pay raises in the legislative session and again seek to increase Louisiana's minimum wage. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on fundraising in the Louisiana governor’s race (all times local):

10:40 p.m.

Republican businessman Eddie Rispone says he has $5.5 million in his campaign account to launch a challenge to Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in Louisiana’s fall election.

Rispone’s cash mainly comes from personal funds. The Baton Rouge contractor’s campaign said Tuesday that Rispone put $5 million of his own money into the account and raised another $554,000 in 2018 after announcing his gubernatorial bid in October.

Rispone released the figures after Edwards’ campaign told The Associated Press its finance report will show nearly $8.4 million in the bank for the governor’s re-election effort.

Formal reports are due in February to Louisiana’s ethics administration office.

Also in the race is Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, who announced in December and hasn’t released a fundraising figure.

The election is Oct. 12.

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9 a.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ campaign says the Democratic incumbent is kicking off his re-election bid this year with nearly $8.4 million in the bank for the race.

The Edwards campaign told The Associated Press that the Deep South’s lone Democratic governor will report raising nearly $3.8 million in 2018 when he files his latest fundraising report.

Two Republicans have announced they will challenge Edwards on the October ballot: U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, a third-term congressman, and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone, a longtime Republican political donor.

Rispone said he will put $5 million or more of his own cash into jumpstarting his campaign. But Abraham will have to rely more heavily on donors.

Both Republicans only recently started fundraising for their gubernatorial bids and haven’t released finance figures yet.

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