Eddie Rispone

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Edward Lee "Eddie" Rispone

(Co-founder of Industrial
Specialty Contractors)

JFR Eddie-Rispone.jpg
Political party Republican gubernatorial candidate in Louisiana, 2019

Born January 21, 1949
Place of birth missing

Resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Spouse (1) Phyllis Rispone (died of cancer)

(2) Linda Lemoine Rispone
Seven children of both Eddie and Linda Rispone[1]

Edward Lee Rispone, known as Eddie Rispone (born January 21, 1949),[2] a businessman from the capital city of Baton Rouge, is one of two Republican gubernatorial candidates currently seeking to unseat Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, in the nonpartisan blanket primary election scheduled for November 16, 2019. Also in the race as of January 8, 2018, is U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham of Louisiana's 5th congressional district. Republican state Senator Sharon Hewitt of Slidell in St. Tammany Parish, like Rispone a conservative, is waiting in the wings as a potential gubernatorial candidate.

With a brother, Rispone (pronounced RIS PONY) in the late 1980s founded Industrial Specialty Contractors, which has grown into one of the largest such firms in the nation. The firm is a 15-time national award winner and has also received numerous local awards of excellence. Rispone has been since 1978 a promoter of workforce development. “Training is key to our community and to our companies. The better prepared our workforce is, the better our local companies perform," he said.[1]

In 2014, Rispone was a prime mover behind the failed effort to incorporate the St. George community in East Baton Rouge Parish.[3]

In January 2018, Rispone established a non-profit organization called Baton Rouge Families First, which seeks to empower lower and middle-income families through the encouragement of "education reform, promoting quality jobs through proactive economic development" and support for "initiatives that strengthen the family structure.” The group was formed in direct challenge to another organization, Together Baton Rouge, a broad-based community organization that proposes public policies to assist the low-income population. Rispone said that Together Baton Rouge has failed to emphasize morals, virtues, independence, and family life—the bedrock of a sound society. Instead it seems to many Together Baton Rouge would rather divide the city using socialist, radical tactics and pushing a national agenda.”[3]

Rispone is reportedly prepared to spend at least $5 million, possibly $8 million, from his personal fortune to make the race. Though he lacks broad name recognition statewide, Rispone can take comfort that several previous governors, including John J. McKeithen, Buddy Roemer, Mike Foster, and even John Bel Edwards, entered their races in 1963, 1995, 1987, and 2015, respectively, without early name recognition. He could use the slogan, "Eddie Is Ready", which was formerly employed by Eddie Sapir, a New Orleans judge and city council member.[4] Journalist Stephen Sabludowsky wrote in analysis:

Might Rispone destroy Louisiana tradition and do a Trump pole-vault over the government-first service pit?

Perhaps. It won’t be easy. First, there will be competition from other Republicans. Also, John Bel Edwards is no pushover. According to Bernie Pinsonat’s recent poll, the current governor enjoys a 60 percent favorable score, despite having served during the worst budgetary meltdowns in decades and despite the other party hovering over, smelling blood.

Nonetheless, Eddie is ready, without government baggage and all.[4]

The Republican State Executive Committee is expected to endorse a single candidate in the race against Edwards and to recommend that the unendorsed Republican candidate withdraw from the race.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ashley Sexton Gordon. Eddie Rispone -- a person of character. Inregister.com. Retrieved on December 8, 2018.
  2. Eddie Risone. Mylife.com. Retrieved on December 8, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Stephanie Riegel (January 22, 2018). Eddie Rispone creates nonprofit to take on Together Baton Rouge. Retrieved on Dercember 10, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Stephen Sabludowsky (December 5, 2018). Eddie Rispone's Ready for Governor, are Louisiana voters?. Bayoubuzz.com. Retrieved on December 8, 2018.