Foster: 50–60% 60–70% 70–80% 80–90%
Fields: 50–60% 70–80%
|Elections in Louisiana|
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.
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.
|Independent||Arthur D. "Jim" Nichols||16,616||1.13|
|Democratic||Gene H. Alexander||5,688||0.39|
|Independent||Darryl Paul Ward||4,210||0.29|
|Independent||Ronnie Glynn Johnson||1,884||0.13|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
1991 gubernatorial election
|Louisiana gubernatorial elections||Succeeded by|
1999 gubernatorial election