1975 Louisiana gubernatorial election

The 1975 Louisiana gubernatorial election resulted in the re-election of Edwin Edwards to his second term as governor of Louisiana. This was the last time that a Democrat was re-elected to a second consecutive term as governor of Louisiana until 2019, 44 years later, when John Bel Edwards won re-election.

1975 Louisiana gubernatorial election

← 1972 November 1, 1975 1979 →
  Edwin Edwards.jpg No image.svg No image.svg
Candidate Edwin Edwards Robert G. Jones Wade O. Martin, Jr.
Party Democratic Democratic Democratic
Popular vote 750,107 292,220 146,368
Percentage 62.4% 24.3% 12.2%

Governor before election

Edwin Edwards

Elected Governor

Edwin Edwards

This was the last gubernatorial election held before the adoption of the Louisiana primary in 1978.[1]


Elections in Louisiana—with the exception of U.S. presidential elections—follow a variation of the open primary system. Candidates of any and all parties are listed on one ballot; voters need not limit themselves to the candidates of one party. 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 gubernatorial election held under the state's new open primary law – the first round of voting was held on November 1, 1975.

Although no runoff was needed, because of the way the new election law was written, an unopposed runoff was held on December 13. Edwards received 430,095 votes in it, according to figures recorded by the Louisiana Secretary of State's office. The Republicans did not field a candidate for the election. The law was later rewritten to where the unopposed runoff was not required if a candidate won an outright majority in the primary. This happened in the 1983 election, when Edwards won a third non-consecutive term over Republican incumbent David C. Treen.


  • Edwin Edwards, incumbent Governor of Louisiana since 1972
  • Bob Jones, State Senator from Lake Charles and son of former Governor Sam H. Jones
  • Ken Lewis, perennial candidate
  • Wade O. Martin Jr., Louisiana Secretary of State since 1946
  • Cecilia M. Pizzo
  • Addison Roswell Thompson, perennial candidate


1975 Louisiana gubernatorial election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Edwin Edwards (incumbent) 750,107 62.35%
Democratic Bob Jones 292,220 24.29%
Democratic Wade O. Martin Jr. 146,368 12.17%
Democratic Ken Lewis 5,307 0.44%
Democratic Addison Roswell Thompson 4,664 0.39%
Democratic Cecilia M. Pizzo 4,338 0.36%
Total votes 1,203,004 100.00%


  1. ^ Wayne, Stephen (2008). Parties and Elections in America: The Electoral Process Fifth Edition. Rowman & Littlefield.


  • State of Louisiana. Primary and General Election Returns, 1975.
Preceded by
1972 gubernatorial election
Louisiana gubernatorial elections Succeeded by
1979 gubernatorial election