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Governor Yields in Louisiana; Roemer Elected

October 25, 1987|Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Gov. Edwin W. Edwards of Louisiana conceded to U.S. Rep. Buddy Roemer early Sunday and said he would not pursue a runoff election for a fourth term.

"I have determined . . . that it would be inappropriate for me to continue this election," Edwards told a hotel room full of shocked supporters at 1:20 a.m.

Edwards finished second to Roemer in Saturday's primary but conceded after two other major challengers said they would back Roemer.

With 3,176 of 3,262 precincts reporting, about 97%, Roemer had 514,315 votes, or 33%. Edwards had 440,443 votes, or 28%. Both are Democrats.

Roemer described Edwards' unexpected decision as "unbelievable." "He did it with class," Roemer said.

Edwards said he would pledge "the full cooperation and support" of his office to Roemer for the remainder of his term, which expires in March.

U.S. Rep. Bob Livingston, the only Republican in the race and the third-place finisher, had conceded and had thrown his support to Roemer.

The other major candidates included U.S. Rep. Billy Tauzin, who also had pledged to support Roemer, and Secretary of State Jim Brown.

Roemer led in every part of the state except Orleans Parish, where Edwards had the most support.

Under Louisiana's open primary system, if no candidate receives a majority the top two finishers, regardless of party affiliation, meet in a runoff.

Darryl Cobb, director of the Elections Department in the secretary of state's office, said reports indicated that 70% to 75% of the state's 2.2 million registered voters cast ballots.

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