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Town of Iowa holds first-ever Iowa Straw Poll in Louisiana

Saturday was the first-ever Iowa Straw Poll in Louisiana.
Saturday was the first-ever Iowa Straw Poll in Louisiana.(Hannah Treece / KPLC)
Published: Jun. 15, 2019 at 5:47 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2019 at 5:53 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Saturday was the first-ever Iowa Straw Poll in Louisiana.

The Town of Iowa took a page from the state of Iowa, gearing up for the 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial race.

Hundreds of Southwest Louisianans showed up to cast their vote for Republican candidates on the October primary ballot.

“Here in Louisiana, it’s called a jungle primary, or an open primary," said Jeremy Stine, with the Calcasieu Parish Republican Executive Committee. "What we would like to see happen is a closed primary.”

Stine said the point of the straw poll was to get an idea of which Republican candidate will prevail in the primary election, much like the closed primaries do for Presidential races.

That’s something Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said he’s all for.

“I love that they came up with this idea," Ardoin said. "It really highlights Louisiana, it gives us a connection to the presidential caucuses that will occur next year, and hopefully it will generate people wanting to be involved and vote in October.”

While many candidates were on the ballot in different races, all eyes were on the two Republican gubernatorial candidates: Eddie Rispone and Ralph Abraham.

Both had different messages when asked what they wanted to say to voters heading to the polls.

“I think it’s time to get someone who’s an outsider, someone who’s a conservative, someone who has serious business skills, someone who’s not holding special interests, and someone who has a backbone to get something done," said Rispone.

Abraham responded, “Please just get involved, vote, vote your conscience. Make your friends, call them, go get them, put them in a headlock and drag them, we don’t care. Get them to the polls.”

While the Town of Iowa may be smaller than the state of Iowa, Ardoin said he believes the rest of Louisiana will take note of the poll results.

“It makes a difference and gets people’s attention," Ardoin said. "So, I hope people pay attention, and I think it will get people thinking about the gubernatorial race and all the other elections on the ballot.”

The results of the straw poll for governor are:

Ralph Abraham - 180

Eddie Rispone - 94

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