Democrat governor won’t disavow ads comparing GOP opponent to David Duke

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has been running radio ads comparing his Republican opponent Eddie Rispone to former KKK leader David Duke.

The radio ads are the product of the Black Organization for Leadership Development, a Political Action Committee (PAC) supporting Edwards. The group’s leader Jay Banks narrates the ads, which are airing in heavily African American parts of the state. “What is the difference between David Duke, Eddie Rispone, and Donald Trump?” the ad says. “The only difference is that Rispone will be governor if you do not stop him. These people are telling you every day that they do not care about you or anyone who looks like you.”

Edwards spokesman Eric Holl said the advertising was “not paid for or authorized by the John Bel Edwards campaign,” The Associated Press reported. Holl did not expressly disavow the content of the ads while distancing the Edwards campaign from them. Banks said in a statement, “If you look at Donald Trump’s rhetoric, if you look at Rispone’s platform, and compare it with the platform David Duke has when he ran for multiple offices, it’s still pretty much the same thing.”

Edwards has previously campaigned with and endorsed Banks in 2017 when Banks ran for New Orleans City Council.

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“You all know what a quality individual he is and what a good job he will do in New Orleans, because, quite frankly, you may not think there’s much tie-in between the governor of the state of Louisiana and a district councilman in New Orleans,” Edwards said of Banks. “But the truth is, it takes teamwork at all levels. I’m excited to be here and support Jay and his candidacy for Council here in New Orleans.”

On October 12, no candidate won a majority of the vote during the primary, leading to a runoff on November 14, The Daily Wire reports. That pits Edwards against Rispone. On Wednesday, Trump traveled to Louisiana to campaign for Rispone. “You’re going out to replace a radical, liberal Democrat as your governor,” Trump said during an event. “John Bel Edwards has not done the job.”

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