The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Students have mixed reactions to new governor

Tribune Content Agency

ULM students and faculty either rejoiced or despaired after state officials announced the winners and losers of last Saturday’s election. On the ballot, numerous candidates competed across 191 statewide races. 

Jeff Landry ultimately won the seat of governor after receiving 51.6% of the votes. He bested 13 candidates, marking the first time a Republican has won the seat of governor in eight years. He will replace Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is unable to run for a third consecutive term. 

A red wave swept across the state as Republicans captured a supermajority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. According to Ballotpedia, Republicans now make up over 60% of the state legislature, winning 27 seats in the Senate and 71 seats in the House. This election secured Louisiana’s role as a major player in the conservative Deep South.  

Across ULM’s campus, Landry’s win divided students and faculty. Some students praised Louisiana’s return to conservative politics.  

Dylan Lyle, a sophomore psychology major, voted for Landry in the most recent election. He explained that he supported Landry’s policies and stances. 

“I voted for Landry based on his policies, not just because of his party,” Lyle said. “A lot of Landry’s ideals, especially regarding the Second Amendment and pro-life movement, align with my Christian values. I am confident we will see great things come out of his term as governor.” 

Landry championed the right to bear arms during his term as the state’s attorney general. His anti-abortion agenda received support from members of Louisiana Right to Life. 

Other students felt concerned about Landry’s past crusade against higher education. Landry said he wants to eliminate “wokeness” in education by creating a “curriculum that doesn’t subject them to the politics of the day.” 

Mallory LeBoeuf, a sophomore political science major, expressed concerns about how Landry’s election will affect her college career.  

“I am very disappointed by the results of this year’s election,” LeBoeuf said. “Landry has a history of targeting public universities, and I’m afraid ULM will feel the effects of his administration.” 

Landry notably requested that LSU professor Robert Mann be reprimanded for criticizing his policies on Twitter. After news broke of Landry’s landslide victory, Mann announced that he would resign from LSU at the end of this academic year. 

Landry’s victory came amid a record-low voter turnout for Louisiana’s state and local elections. 

According to The Times-Picayune, 36% of Louisiana’s 3 million eligible voters visited the polls on election day, the lowest voter turnout since 1999. 

 These disheartening statistics show that Louisianans, especially college students, have some of the lowest voter turnouts in the country.  

As the director of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Pearson Cross studies the role of college students in state and local elections. He hopes the election results encourage more students to visit the polls.  

“What students don’t realize is that they could have a considerable voice in government if they just exercised it,” Cross said. “Their age group, however, is the least likely to vote, meaning that the government pretty much ignores their voice and the issues they care about.” 

Election season is far from over in Louisiana. On Nov. 18, parishes will host a runoff election to choose the next secretary of state, treasurer and attorney general.

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