Louisiana's Ex-Con Former Gov Running for Congress

Edwin Edwards, 86, will seek House seat
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2014 1:30 AM CDT
Ex-Con Louisiana Ex-Gov Launches Congress Bid
Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards speaks at the Baton Rouge Press Club in Baton Rouge.   (AP Photo/Travis Spradling)

Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards has decided that neither age—nor his status as an ex-con—is a barrier to a run for Congress. The 86-year-old Democrat, who was released from federal prison in 2011 after serving eight years on fraud and racketeering charges, has entered the race for the state's 6th congressional district and says he's convinced he can win, the Times-Picayune reports. The four-term governor has always maintained his innocence on fraud charges connected to state licensing of riverboat casinos, the Los Angeles Times notes.

"I acknowledge there are good reasons I should not run. But there are better reasons why I should," said Edwards, who starred in a reality TV show after getting out of prison. He says he'd really like to run for governor again, but because of his conviction, state law bans him from doing so until he's 101 years old. Analysts say that while Edwards certainly has name recognition on his side, he will struggle to make headway in the heavily Republican district centered on Baton Rouge. "This changes the race. It’s sure to stir up some notoriety ... but I don’t think he has a chance of winning," a political scientist tells the Baton Rouge Advocate. (More Edwin Edwards stories.)

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