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La. Democrat For Governor: 'David Vitter Chose Prostitutes Over Patriots'

Louisiana Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards walks past Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter as they take their places before a gubernatorial debate.
Gerald Herbert
Louisiana Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards walks past Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter as they take their places before a gubernatorial debate.

Voters in Louisiana get to start their weekend off seeing this ad:

The ad, from Democrat John Bel Edwards, is a sledgehammer, hitting Republican David Vitter on his ties to the 2007 D.C. Madam prostitution scandal. Edwards is running against Vitter for governor and even picked up the endorsement this week of Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who lost to Vitter in the bitter primary.

The ad begins by highlighting Edwards' military service, but then pivots. It offers a choice — Edwards "or David Vitter, who answered a prostitute's call minutes after he skipped a vote honoring 28 soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our freedom.

"David Vitter chose prostitutes over patriots. Now the choice is yours."

On-screen: "The choice is yours LOUISIANA."

The ad goes on the air Saturday.

Edwards has been leading in the polls, but his campaign is taking no chances, especially after a Democrat running for governor in another Southern state, Kentucky, lost this week after leading in the polls heading into Election Day.

Speaking to reporters before the South Carolina Democratic Presidential Forum in Rock Hill, S.C., on Friday night, Louisiana Democratic Party Chairman Karen Carter Peterson dismissed any parallels between the two races.

"John Bel Edwards lives his values every day. Sometimes the Republican Party has tried to take owenership of the values discussion. They can't do that in Louisiana," Peterson said. "We're going to elect a great Democrat — a West Point grad who has been a good father and had been a good husband to his wife — a faithful husband to his wife did I mention? — and someone that's going to represent Louisiana well."

When asked about Edwards's ad against Vitter, Peterson smiled and said "there's more to come."

This post was updated at 7:40 p.m.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Domenico Montanaro
Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.
Jessica Taylor
Jessica Taylor is a political reporter with NPR based in Washington, DC, covering elections and breaking news out of the White House and Congress. Her reporting can be heard and seen on a variety of NPR platforms, from on air to online. For more than a decade, she has reported on and analyzed House and Senate elections and is a contributing author to the 2020 edition of The Almanac of American Politics and is a senior contributor to The Cook Political Report.