While the Louisiana governor's race slowly gains momentum before the Oct. 24 primary, Democratic candidate and state Rep. John Bel Edwards has picked up support from at least one famous Louisiana family. Lynne Spears, the mother of pop superstar Britney Spears, a Tangipahoa Parish native, is giving away two tickets to her daughter's Las Vegas show at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino with round-trip airfare, backstage passes and a two-night hotel stay — to one "winner" who donates $50 to the Edwards campaign. (Lynne Spears also has donated $125 to the Edwards campaign, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program.)
"We've been friends with [the Spearses] for a number of years," Edwards told Gambit at the Louisiana Democratic Party's July 26 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. (Edwards also is from Tangipahoa.) "Lynne is a former educator, and she knows my work on (kindergarten through 12th grade) education, and she appreciates that work, and she reached out to us and told us that she wanted to help."
Edwards says he won't be at the concert, though. "I'll be staying in state," he said, at least until after Nov. 21, the date of the runoff election.
Meanwhile, Edwards is trailing Republican candidates in campaign donations. Though Edwards has $1.07 million cash on hand as of mid-July, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Louisiana Ethics Administration, Republican challenger and U.S. Sen. David Vitter has more than $5 million. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne has more than $1.8 million, and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle has $1.04 million. Edwards had only raised $237,299 since April, while Vitter raised more than $1.3 million, Dardenne $388,090, and Angelle $387,281. Those totals do not include what has been raised by super PACs supporting the candidates.
Edwards said he's prepared to face Vitter's multi-million-dollar campaign. "He better worry about the Edwards machine," Edwards said with a smile. "I'm comfortable."