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The Latest: Louisiana governor says he expects GOP onslaught

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2019, file photo, Gov. John Bel Edwards acknowledges his supporters as he comes out onstage for a debate with Eddie Rispone and Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham in Baton Rouge, La. Edwards is battling to hold onto the Democrats’ only governorship in the Deep South.
FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2019, file photo, Gov. John Bel Edwards acknowledges his supporters as he comes out onstage for a debate with Eddie Rispone and Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham in Baton Rouge, La. Edwards is battling to hold onto the Democrats’ only governorship in the Deep South. Bill Feig

The Latest on Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' fight to retain his seat in primary (all times local):

10:55 p.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is telling his supporters to brace for a barrage of national Republican efforts trying to unseat him in the five weeks leading to Louisiana's runoff election.

The Deep South's only Democratic governor fell below 50% voter support Saturday night. He was forced into a Nov. 16 runoff against Republican businessman Eddie Rispone to determine if he'll win a second term.

President Donald Trump held an election eve rally urging Louisiana's voters to reject Edwards. The president took credit on Twitter for keeping Edwards from a primary victory, and he praised Rispone.

Edwards told supporters: "We've got a little more work to do." But he said he believes Louisiana voters will embrace the spirit of bipartisanship in November and reelect him.

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10:15 p.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has been forced into a runoff election against Republican Eddie Rispone to determine if he'll win a second term as the Deep South's only Democratic governor.

Edwards was unable to top 50% of the vote in Saturday's primary in the heart of Trump territory. He'll face a head-to-head competition in the Nov. 16 runoff with Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman and longtime GOP political donor.

National Republicans bombarded Louisiana with advertising and get-out-the-vote events to keep Edwards from a primary win.

President Donald Trump held an election eve, anti-Edwards rally. The president urged Louisiana's voters to pick either Rispone or the race's third-place finisher, Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham.

The Republican offensive against Edwards is expected to intensify over the race's final five weeks.

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10 p.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will have to battle for another month to try to hang on to his job as the Deep South's only Democratic governor.

The Democratic incumbent was forced into a runoff election, unable to top 50% of the vote in Saturday's primary in the heart of Trump territory.

Edwards will compete in the Nov. 16 runoff against either Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham or Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, who were vying for second place.

The race drew the attention of the national GOP, which sought to defeat Edwards by tying him to national Democratic leaders in a state that Trump won by 20 points.

President Donald Trump held an election eve, anti-Edwards rally Friday night. He didn't endorse either Abraham or Rispone, instead simply calling on Republicans to vote against the Democratic incumbent.

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9:50 p.m.

Incumbent Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has taken the lead in a primary against two major Republican challengers. But it's unclear if the Deep South's only Democratic governor will get enough votes to win outright.

Republicans were trying to keep Edwards below 50% voter support in Saturday's election and force him into a November runoff to determine if he'll win a second term.

President Donald Trump made a last-minute, election eve appeal to Louisiana's voters to reject Edwards. Trump urged voters to choose one of his two main GOP opponents: U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham or businessman Eddie Rispone.

Edwards needs cross-party support to win in ruby red Louisiana. He ran on bipartisanship, saying he worked across party lines on all the major initiatives he achieved in his first term in office.

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8 p.m.

Polls have closed in Louisiana's election, with the Deep South's only Democratic governor waiting to learn if he'll win a second term outright or if he'll have to campaign until November.

The governor's race topped a primary ballot Saturday, with Gov. John Bel Edwards facing five opponents.

His two major challengers are Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and Republican businessman Eddie Rispone.

Edwards needs cross-party support to win. He must top 50% voter support to avoid a Nov. 16 runoff.

The race has drawn national GOP interest. President Donald Trump held a rally on election eve in which he urged Louisiana Republicans to vote against Edwards.

Also on the ballot, six other statewide elected officials in Louisiana were trying to win new terms in office.

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1 a.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is striving to hang on to a rare Democratic governorship in Deep South Trump territory against a national GOP offensive aimed at forcing him into a runoff.

Republicans are trying to hold Edwards under the 50% benchmark the region's only Democratic governor needs Saturday to avoid another election on Nov. 16.

Edwards faces two main GOP challengers: U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone. But three lesser-known contenders also could peel off a few percentage points.

Polls close at 8 p.m.

President Donald Trump made a last-minute appeal to Louisiana's voters on Friday, urging them to reject Edwards.

Also on Louisiana's ballot, six Republican statewide elected officials are running for reelection to new four-year terms.

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