Governor candidate profile: Eddie Rispone

Photo Source: WAFB TV

 

Thomas Celles

Reporter

 

Eddie Rispone considers himself the “conservative outsider” in the 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial race.

A businessman and a construction worker for his entire life, it’s only recently that he’s gotten into politics. From his humble beginnings, he has risen to become one of the wealthiest residents in the state.

He donates his earnings to various programs, including over $1 million to political campaigns and $8 million to charitable and religious organizations. Now, he’s putting a portion of his cash, $10 million, into his campaign for the highest office in the state.

Background

Rispone grew up in a small house in Baton Rouge with his parents and six siblings. He started working in construction at 15 years old with his older brother Sammy.

He was an all-state football player in high school. Rispone attended LSU and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in construction technology, the first of his family to do so.

He went on to found ISC Constructors with his brother Jerry in 1989. Today, that company is one of the largest construction companies in the South with offices in Houston, Beaumont, Texas, and Lake Charles and headquarters in Baton Rouge.

Political Background

Rispone’s first foray into politics came in 2005 when he led the Louisiana Craft Workforce Development Board.

He was then appointed by former Gov. Bobby Jindal as chairman of the Workforce Investment Council, an advisory committee for the governor.

He has been a longtime donor to the Louisiana Republican Party, supporting several candidates and political action committees. These include state Rep. Steve Scalise and former Sen. David Vitter’s run for governor. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, most of his donations have gone towards political action committees that fund candidates who support charter schools and state school vouchers.

Rispone is a pro-life, pro-family and pro-Second Amendment candidate. He is a strong supporter of President Trump, mentioning numerous times during the campaign that he will follow Trump’s policies if he wins.

Rispone refers to his record as a businessman to showcase his experience in creating jobs, which he claims he will bring to the state level. Rispone also supports work requirements for welfare recipients and claims that Gov. Edwards expansion of Medicaid was a disastrous mistake.

Rispone has received a great deal of criticism from Republicans because of his ads and speeches targeting both Gov. Edwards and fellow Republican challenger Rep. Ralph Abraham. Numerous state Republican officials have fired back, telling Rispone that Republicans need to stick together and that attacking each other only helps Edwards.

The primary election will be on Oct. 12.

If no one wins a majority on Oct. 12, the top two candidates will face off in the general election on Nov. 16.

More information on Eddie Rispone is available at eddieforgovernor.com

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