Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who signed one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the country last week, is holding a high-dollar fundraiser for another Democrat who opposes abortion rights, according to an invitation obtained by HuffPost.
The event, set for Friday night at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, will raise money for Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who is running for his state’s governorship. Hood is defending his state’s own strict anti-abortion laws in the courts.
It’s unclear who will attend the fundraiser ― the invitation notes a host committee “is still in formation.” Hosts have to donate at least $5,000 to Hood’s campaign, according to the invite. The minimum donation to attend is $500.
The event shows a budding partnership between two of the highest-profile anti-abortion Democrats in the country. It also indicates Hood may be looking to Edwards’ 2015 victory in Louisiana as a model for his 2019 run in an adjacent and politically similar state. Edwards is seeking to win reelection, likely against GOP Congressman Ralph Abraham. Hood is likely to face Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves in the general election. Both men are in tough but winnable races.
Polling indicates a majority of registered voters in both states are opposed to abortion rights under most if not all circumstances, but some progressives have argued national Democratic organizations, such as the Democratic Governors Association, should withhold support from candidates who don’t support a woman’s right to choose.
A spokesman for Edwards’ campaign said the event was long-planned to coincide with a gathering of Mississippi lawyers in New Orleans, not in response to the recent uproar over Edwards’ decision to sign a “heartbeat” law that would effectively ban abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. (The law, like others recently passed in Georgia and Alabama, is facing a legal challenge and has not gone into effect.)
“Governor Edwards was invited to this event in New Orleans as a special guest a few months ago and will be attending,” said Eric Holl, a spokesman for Edwards’ campaign.
The Hood campaign didn’t respond to an email requesting comment.