The Republican Governors Association (RGA) is putting Louisiana voters on notice about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shawn Wilson, highlighting what they describe as his failed record on infrastructure.
That’s a big claim against a candidate whose most recent résumé accomplishment includes serving as the state’s Secretary of Transportation and Development, a position he held from 2016 until March of this year. Wilson’s bio on his campaign website claims he “transformed the agency to be more collaborative and efficient at leveraging resources and delivering services,” which his campaign says resulted in “groundbreakings on decades old improvements and multimodal infrastructure.
That’s not how the RGA sees it, however.
The group launched a 30-second video contrasting Wilson’s claimed accomplishments from his campaign announcement to what they say is the truth about Louisiana’s infrastructure decline under his leadership, noting the state now ranks 49th in transportation and infrastructure in the nation.
“Shawn Wilson failed Louisianians time and time again when it came to delivering better roads and bridges. Under Wilson’s leadership roads got worse, not better, and Louisiana now ranks 49th in the nation for infrastructure. If Wilson can’t fix the roads, he certainly can’t fix Louisiana,” RGA National Press Secretary Courtney Alexander said.
The ad begins with a loose definition of a bridge.
“In the simplest of terms, a bridge is a pathway over an obstacle,” a narrator begins, before the video pivots to the voices, presumably, of newscasters reading road and bridge-related headlines.
“Louisiana is ranked in the top 10 for the most dangerous roads in the U.S.,” one person says.
“The (Joe) Biden administration gave the state a D+ when it comes to roads and bridges,” another adds.
The video then shows President Biden in front of a bridge, with a narrator saying it was “considered the worst bridge in Louisiana.”
“That’s not real comforting if you’re one of the thousands that crosses it every single day,” a man then says in the ad’s close.
Wilson is running to replace incumbent Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, also a Democrat in the otherwise red state. Republicans are eyeing the Governor’s mansion with the race open this year.
There are several candidates running, but Wilson’s top competition is Republican Jeff Landry, the state’s current Attorney General. An April poll of the Governor’s race showed Landry ahead of Wilson, with 35% support to Wilson’s 25%.
Louisiana holds nonpartisan open Primaries that put all candidates on the same ballot regardless of party affiliation. That means a candidate could win outright in the October 14 Primary if they receive more than 50% of the vote. That’s an unlikely scenario considering the number of candidates in the race, and means the most likely scenario is a General Election contest between Landry and Wilson on Nov. 18.