Edwin Edwards, the former Governor of Louisiana, has announced he will run for the 6th Congressional District this November. He had previously held the office of governor for four terms. Edwards had also spent eight years in a federal prison on charges of racketeering, extortion and bribery; he was released three years ago. His announcement to run for Congress came at the Baton Rouge Press Club.
The eighty-six-year-old Edwards and his 35-year-old wife Trina were both recently featured on Arts and Entertainment’s (A&E’s) reality show, The Governor’s Wife. The show followed Edwards and his wife through her pregnancy to the birth of their new baby boy. National exposure from the reality show brought the former governor back into the spotlight.
In 1992, Edwards won the race for office against KKK member David Duke. It was the last time that Edwards, a Democrat, had served as governor. While making his decision to run for Congress, he stated that he initially wanted to run for governor but there was a question regarding whether he could. This is because of a Louisiana law that prohibits convicted felons from running for any statewide office until 15 years after their release. Convicted felons can also run for a statewide office if they are granted a pardon.
Edwards has always been known as a colorful, outspoken and memorable governor. He is getting back into politics and has said that his reason is to make the 6th District better and to help make his country better. Edwards acknowledges that it will take time but it can be done. He also said that the decision was not an easy one, but he says he knows he will be able to accomplish something for the 6th District while in office.
Edwards had been asked if he felt his time in federal prison would be an embarrassment and reflect negatively on the state of Louisiana. He responded that he hardly views it as an embarrassment. The last time he had run for governor, people were asking the same kind of negative questions. Now he is running for Congress and people should be proud. He went on to say that this gives the state a chance to show they have the qualities of understanding and forgiveness. Edwards stated that second chances are important in both life and politics.
The former governor is a native of Marksville, Louisiana, which is just north of Baton Rouge. He expressed his concerns and wants to serve on the agriculture committee and the public works committee in Congress. This is where he will be able to tackle concerns about the gas and oil industry in Louisiana. It will also offer him a platform to handle the concerns of infrastructure vital to the state.
Edwards said he is in agreement with approving the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. He also wants to encourage a study to bring about funding for a high-speed rail line from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Edwards has also spoken to Lt. General Honore about Baton Rouge’s aquifer and the Green Army environmental concern.
There were concerns from some people regarding whether the former governor would be able to win because of his time in federal prison. Edwin Edwards acknowledges there are good reasons that maybe he should not run, but there said there are better reasons for why he should run. He says he is a qualified Congressional candidate, and is positive that he will run and is extremely confident that he can win.
By Saki Kahala