BATON ROUGE, Louisiana—Polls show Sen. David Vitter trailing his Democratic opponent in the Louisiana governor’s race, but in the final days of the race, Vitter is using the Paris terrorist attacks and debate over U.S. acceptance of Syrian refugees as a vehicle to fire up the most conservative voters who remain distrustful of Democrat John Bel Edwards.
During the final televised gubernatorial debate Monday night before the November 21 runoff, the very first topic of discussion was how the candidates thought the state should approach the 10,000 Syrian refugees President Obama said will enter the country in the coming months. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal sent a letter to the White House Saturday asking how many Syrian refugees had been settled in Louisiana, and the State Department set the total at 14. Jindal then issued an executive order Monday banning more refugees from being placed in the state. Jindal is one of at least 23 governors who took action Sunday and Monday to prevent Syrian refugees from coming to their states.
Both Vitter and Edwards said they support Jindal’s moves, making Edwards one of just two Democratic governors or gubernatorial candidates anywhere in the country to back such a measure, along with New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is running for Senate in 2016.