David Duke vs. Edwin Edwards: A 1991 election reflection


The Occasions-Picayune is marking the tricentennial of New Orleans with its ongoing 300 for 300 challenge, operating via 2018 and highlighting the moments and folks that join and encourage us. Immediately, the collection continues with the 1991 gubernatorial marketing campaign pitting former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke towards former Gov. Edwin Edwards.

THEN: For politically minded Louisianians, the interval from Oct. 19 to Nov. sixteen, 1991, was a protracted nightmare, an ordeal akin to watching a hurricane construct within the Gulf of Mexico and ready to see the place it’ll strike. David Duke, the white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan chief, had elbowed previous Gov. Buddy Roemer within the October main to get into the gubernatorial runoff a month later with three-time former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards. The competition pitted Duke, a Republican, towards a Democrat who had winked at rumors of a quick-and-unfastened way of life involving, amongst different issues, ladies and playing. In what many noticed as a lose-lose proposition, Edwards gained with barely greater than sixty one % of the vote.

NOW: Each males have left electoral politics, however not and not using a shot at a final hurrah. Edwards, who lives in Gonzales together with his third spouse and their younger son, ran for Congress in 2014. Duke, who lives in Mandeville, was one among two dozen candidates vying to succeed U.S. Sen. David Vitter final yr. Each misplaced.

TRI-by way of:

  • The 1991 marketing campaign impressed this memorable professional-Edwards bumper sticker: “Vote for the criminal: It is necessary.”
  • In an try and inject some humor into an anxious state of affairs, Edwards sought to place distance between himself and the previous KKK chief when he stated, “The one factor we’ve got in widespread is that we each have been wizards beneath the sheets.”
  • President George H.W. Bush stated he might by no means help Duke, regardless that the candidate was a fellow Republican.
  • Each males have been later convicted of federal crimes. For a time, they have been in Texas prisons about 270 miles aside: Edwards was in Fort Value, and Duke was incarcerated outdoors Huge Spring.
  • Edwards had been discovered responsible in 2000 of extorting almost $three million from corporations that utilized for on line casino licenses throughout his final time period in workplace. He was convicted on 17 counts of racketeering, mail and wire fraud, conspiracy and cash-laundering.
  • Duke pleaded responsible to bilking his monetary supporters and dishonest on his revenue taxes.
  • The 2000 trial was not Edwards’ first time as a defendant in federal courtroom. He was acquitted of bribery fees in a 1986 case by which he and 4 different males have been charged with taking almost $2 million in trade for preferential remedy for corporations that handled state hospitals.
  • In his e-book “Cross to Bear,” longtime Louisiana political observer John Maginnis provided this tackle the 1991 contest: Edwards held his base within the main whereas Duke chewed up Roemer’s, then picked up the items within the runoff as Duke emerged as an unacceptable selection. Consequently, Maginnis concluded, Edwards’ victory was a fluke.

N.O. DNA: Neither…



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