Text of Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne’s Endorsement of Rep. John Bel Edwards


Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne Remarks

November 5, 2015

I am a Republican. I have been one since the early 1970s when I helped Henson Moore’s election to the United States Congress. I will remain a Republican.

But I also am someone who believes in voting for the person, not the party. It’s why I and other long-time Republican officeholders were able to be elected when this was a Democrat state.

Never is this more appropriate than in this election, which is why Cathy and I today announce our support of John Bel Edwards.

We did not come to this decision lightly. We both have fielded dozens of calls and messages about our position in this race. We believe our many friends and supporters can make up their own minds, but they deserve to know how we will cast our ballots.

To those who are saying, “I’m just not gonna vote.” I encourage people not to take that easy way out. Don’t leave it to someone else to make your decision for you.

This is not a case of choosing the lesser of two evils.

John Bel reminded us during the primary that he lives by the oath he took as an Army Ranger . .  not to lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do.

I never took that oath, but I have spent twenty-seven years in public service attempting to prove what I said in my very first election: that the term honest politician doesn’t have to be a contradiction in terms.

So how can I pretend that everything I said less than two weeks ago about David Vitter no longer has meaning? When are we Louisianians going to stop tolerating the embarrassment that too many of our elected officials have heaped upon our state?

I have stood on the stage not far from here in the LSU Union countless times over the years speaking to Boys State, Girls State, YLS and other groups talking about leadership … and the fundamental trait that a leader must possess: integrity.

Honor, integrity, truthfulness, openness and ethical behavior are the most important traits of public service.

John Bel Edwards is the candidate who exemplifies these traits.

I know better than anybody that just because David Vitter and his Super PAC say something on TV doesn’t make it true.

I have come to know and respect John Bel during this campaign.

I have done my due diligence. I have talked with him extensively regarding the issues that are important to me and the state.

I believe him when he tells me he will not be controlled by those who want to turn back the clock in Louisiana. He will not seek to undo strides that have been made in education with charter schools and vouchers. He will not be the enemy of business. He will not seek to solve our serious budget problems by penalizing a particular industry. He recognizes that LSU and all of higher education is the key to continued economic prosperity. He recognizes that he formerly represented an overwhelmingly Democrat district but that he must deal with a Republican control legislature. He knows that fear, intimidation and vindictiveness are the enemies of building a coalition to move Louisiana forward.

He will govern in a bipartisan way based on what’s best for Louisiana without regard to how it plays to a national audience.

The Republican brand has been damaged by the failed leadership of Bobby Jindal in his second term. A David Vitter governorship will further damage our brand as I and others have pointed out during the campaign.

I cannot and will not sit idly by and refuse to speak truth to power. I will support an honorable pro-life, pro-gun Democrat who can build coalitions and whose values best reflect those of our great state.

This entry was posted in David Vitter, John Bel Edwards, Louisiana governor's race, Louisiana Politics, LSU, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Text of Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne’s Endorsement of Rep. John Bel Edwards

  1. Bob in BR says:

    A well put statement to explain the courageous act that Jay Dardenne took in endorsing Edwards for governor. No doubt this move outraged those who only see through party lenses but one that leaves Jay Dardenne’s integrity and honesty intact. He explained himself eloquently and makes a powerful argument for his, Scott Angelle’s, and David Vitter’s supporters to follow his lead and vote for John Bel Edwards.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Denarys says:

    I commend Lt. Gov. Dardenne’s statement and position. His statement reflects his integrity as well as his love and concern for our State.
    I have supported JBE from the beginning of the campaign and continue to do so. I hope the voters of our state vote for the good of the State and not just a political party designation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jechoisir says:


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Stephen Winham says:

    I know nobody who supported Jay Dardenne who would vote for David Vitter whether Dardenne endorsed him or not. Dardenne has shown logic, intelligence and courage in making this endorsement. If being a RINO means not moving in lock step with the Republican Party on every single issue, I have to hope there are a lot more out there. Some people can and do think for themselves. They don’t need a party to tell them what to think or how to vote. That is a main reason the fastest growing segment of registered voters in Louisiana is No Party.


  5. Matilde Alberny says:

    I now feel the highest degree of respect and admiration for Dardenne….he is beyond cheap party politics…..and for those against him, it speaks very poorly of their morals, not because they like Vitter, impossible to imagine, but granted, there are fools in the world, but because they expect very little of their politicians, just a party name…probably they don’t even know what their party stands for!


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  7. Lee says:

    Excellent response from Jay Dardenne! I think he would make an
    Outstanding U.S. Senator!! His willingness to vote from conscience over party politics is what we need in Washington.
    He is understanding of bipartisanship in order to make government support
    legislation for all people and not just the 1%.
    I hope he will consider Vitter’s seat.


  8. Lee Khoury says:

    Excellent response from Jay Dardenne. He has shown his integrity by following his
    conscience and not political party agendas.
    I think he would make an outstanding U.S. Senator! Washington politics is in dire
    need of bipartisan leadership!!
    Vitter will soon be a politician LA. no longer wants in office. His unwillingness to be truthful is the true Atrocity!


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