Edward Lee Rispone (/rɪsˈpni/ ris-POH-nee; born January 21, 1949) is an American businessman and politician from the state of Louisiana. He ran as a Republican Party candidate for Governor of Louisiana in the 2019 election, losing to incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards.

Eddie Rispone
Rispone in 2019
Edward Lee Rispone

(1949-01-21) January 21, 1949 (age 75)
EducationLouisiana State University (BS)
Political partyRepublican
Phyllis Rispone
(m. 1970; died 2005)
Linda Rispone
(m. 2007)

Early life and education


Rispone was raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His father worked as a compressor machinist at an oil refinery owned by Standard Oil, and his mother was a homemaker. He has five brothers and one sister.[1][2]

Rispone graduated from Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge. In high school, he played football as a linebacker and offensive guard, and was named to the all-state team in his senior year.[3] He graduated from Louisiana State University, with a concentration in construction technology, in 1972.[1][2]



Rispone began working in construction while he was still in school. In 1989, he and his brother Jerry founded ISC Constructors; in 2017 he said that the company had annual revenues of $350 million.[2] In 2000 he criticized a tax increase approved by a state house committee stating that "this has the potential to wipe out all of our profits" due to his business operating on a small profit.[4] In 2003 he was elected the national chairman of the Associated Builders and Contractors.[2] The Louisiana Federation for Children, which advocates for school vouchers, named Rispone as its chairman in 2011. Governor Bobby Jindal appointed him to chair the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council.[1]

In October 2018, Rispone declared his candidacy in the 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election as a Republican.[5] On October 12, 2019, Rispone finished in second place in the all-candidate election with 27% of the vote, behind incumbent John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, who received 47%, and ahead of Republican congressman Ralph Abraham, who received 24%. Rispone and Edwards advanced to the November 16 runoff election.[6] Edwards defeated Rispone in the runoff election.[7]

Personal life


Rispone and his first wife, Phyllis, were married for 35 years. She died in 2005 of cancer.[2] Rispone married his second wife, Linda, in 2007. He and Linda have seven children and 24 grandchildren as of September 2019.[1]

Electoral history

2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Bel Edwards (incumbent) 625,970 46.6
Republican Eddie Rispone 368,319 27.4
Republican Ralph Abraham 317,149 23.6
Democratic Oscar Dantzler 10,993 0.8
Republican Patrick Landry 10,966 0.8
Independent Gary Landrieu 10,084 0.7
Total votes 1,343,481 100.0
2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election runoff[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John Bel Edwards (incumbent) 774,469 51.34% -4.77%
Republican Eddie Rispone 734,128 48.66% +4.77%
Total votes 1,508,597 100.00% N/A


  1. ^ a b c d "Eddie Rispone says Louisiana governor bid makes sense: 'I am ... going to turn it around' | Elections". theadvocate.com. September 24, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e O'Donoghue, Julia (May 18, 2019). "From humble beginnings to enormous wealth, Eddie Rispone may be facing his biggest test yet | News". nola.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  3. ^ "27 Oct 1966, Page 46 - The Times at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Business tax gets initial OK". The Town Talk. May 18, 2000. p. 36. Archived from the original on November 17, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Deslatte, Melinda (October 10, 2018). "Republican businessman to run for Louisiana governor, plans to start with $5M of his own | Elections". theadvocate.com. Associated Press. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  6. ^ Ballard, Mark (October 12, 2019). "Gov. John Bel Edwards to meet Eddie Rispone in runoff for Louisiana governor's race". The Advocate. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  7. ^ Chamberlain, Samuel (November 16, 2019). "Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards projected to win second term, beating GOP's Rispone". Fox News.
  8. ^ "Unofficial Results". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  9. ^ "Louisiana Secretary of State - Live Election Results". voterportal.sos.la.gov. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for Governor of Louisiana
Succeeded by