1995 Louisiana gubernatorial election

← 1991 October 21, 1995 (first round)
November 18, 1995 (runoff)
1999 →
GovFoster1 (cropped).JPG
Cleo Fields.jpg
Landrieu-lg (cropped).jpg
Nominee Mike Foster Cleo Fields Mary Landrieu
Party Republican Democratic Democratic
First round 385,267
Runoff 984,499

Buddy Roemer Congress.jpg
Nominee Buddy Roemer Phil Preis
Party Republican Democratic
First round 263,330
Runoff Eliminated Eliminated

1995 Louisiana gubernatorial runoff election results map by parish.svg
Parish results
Foster:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%
Fields:      50–60%      70–80%

Governor before election

Edwin Edwards

Elected Governor

Mike Foster

The 1995 Louisiana gubernatorial election was held on November 18, 1995 to elect the Governor of Louisiana.

Incumbent Democratic Governor Edwin Edwards had planned to run for re-election to a second consecutive and fifth overall term in office, but he announced in June 1994, shortly after marrying his second wife Candy Picou, that he would be retiring from politics at the end of his term.[1]

All elections in Louisiana—with the exception of U.S. presidential elections—follow a variation of the open primary system called the jungle primary. Candidates of any and all parties are listed on one ballot; voters need not limit themselves to the candidates of one party when voting. Unless one candidate takes more than 50% of the vote in the first round, a run-off election is then held between the top two candidates, who may in fact be members of the same party.

In this election, the first round of voting was held on October 21, 1995, with Republican State Senator Mike Foster and Democratic U.S. Representative Cleo Fields finishing first and second with 26.1% and 19%, respectively. They thus advanced to a runoff, which was held on November 18, 1995. Foster defeated Fields in a landslide. As of 2020, this is the most recent Louisiana gubernatorial election in which the Republican candidate was not elected in the first round for their first term in office.


The early field included eight individuals considered to be "major" candidates. These were State Representative Robert Adley, U.S. Representative Cleo Fields, State Senator Mike Foster, U.S. Representative William J. Jefferson, State Treasurer Mary Landrieu, former Governor Buddy Roemer, Lieutenant Governor Melinda Schwegmann and former Governor Dave Treen.

On September 8th, Foster decided to switch his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican, this decision may have been noted as a gamechanger towards the outcome of the jungle primary.

The makeup of the field led some analysts to dub this the "twins election", as each major candidate had a rival who appealed to a similar constituency or voter base. The sets of "twins" were: two mainstream Republican former governors (Treen and Roemer); two moderate Democratic female statewide office holders with ties to New Orleans (Landrieu and Schwegmann); two conservative Democratic state legislators (Foster and Adley); and two liberal, black Democratic U.S. Representatives (Fields and Jefferson).

Treen and Jefferson eventually chose not to officially enter the race and Foster switched his party identification to Republican at the time of qualifying. Attorney Phil Preis also entered the race as a Democrat and with a self-financed campaign was able to enter the top tier of candidates. Eight minor candidates, two Democrats and six Independents, also qualified for the ballot.

Democratic Party




Republican Party






Parishes won by gubernatorial candidates in the October 21, 1995 jungle primary. .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Mike Foster (38)   Cleo Fields (18)   Buddy Roemer (4)   Mary Landrieu (2)   Phil Preis (2)
Parishes won by gubernatorial candidates in the October 21, 1995 jungle primary.
  Mike Foster (38)
  Cleo Fields (18)
  Buddy Roemer (4)
  Mary Landrieu (2)
  Phil Preis (2)
Parishes won by gubernatorial candidates in the October 21, 1995 runoff election.   Mike Foster (59)   Cleo Fields (5)
Parishes won by gubernatorial candidates in the October 21, 1995 runoff election.
  Mike Foster (59)
  Cleo Fields (5)
Louisiana gubernatorial election jungle primary, 1995
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Foster 385,267 26.10
Democratic Cleo Fields 280,921 19.03
Democratic Mary Landrieu 271,938 18.43
Republican Buddy Roemer 263,330 17.84
Democratic Phil Preis 133,271 9.03
Democratic Melinda Schwegmann 71,288 4.83
Democratic Robert Adley 27,534 1.87
Independent Arthur D. "Jim" Nichols 16,616 1.13
Democratic Gene H. Alexander 5,688 0.39
Independent Kenneth Woods 4,964 0.34
Independent Darryl Paul Ward 4,210 0.29
Democratic Belinda Alexandrenko 3,161 0.21
Independent Lonnie Creech 2,338 0.16
Independent Ronnie Glynn Johnson 1,884 0.13
Independent Anne Thompson 1,416 0.1
Total votes 1,473,826 100
Louisiana gubernatorial election runoff, 1995
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Foster 984,499 63.5
Democratic Cleo Fields 565,861 36.5
Total votes 1,550,360 100
Republican gain from Democratic

See also


  1. ^ "Governor Retirement Address". C-SPAN. June 6, 1994. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  2. ^ "Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee dies - Breaking News Updates New Orleans - Times-Picayune - NOLA.com". Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2017-03-22.
Preceded by
1991 gubernatorial election
Louisiana gubernatorial elections Succeeded by
1999 gubernatorial election