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Ex-con, ex-governor Edwards raises $33,000 in Louisiana run for Congress

Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards announces his run for congress in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in this file photo taken March 17, 2014. RE
Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards announces his run for congress in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in this file photo taken March 17, 2014. RE

By Lisa Bose McDermott

(Reuters) - Former Louisiana Governor, Edwin Edwards, a convicted felon now running for the U.S. Congress, has raised nearly $33,000 in donations since launching his campaign last month, according to a contribution report.

The 86-year-old Democrat, who was Louisiana's longest serving governor, revealed he has 12 donors to his campaign for the state's Sixth Congressional District, according to a first quarter contribution report filed before the midnight Tuesday deadline.

He faces a crowded field for the seat now open since incumbent Congressman Bill Cassidy, a Republican, plans to run for U.S. Senate against three term incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat.

Among the donors to Edwards' campaign, which launched on March 17, is his wife and assistant treasurer of the campaign, Trina Edwards, who donated about $3,100, the report shows.

Three polls in the state show Edwards ending up in a runoff for the seat but none show him garnering enough support to ultimately win the race.

"He has a solid base of support who will follow him to the grave," said John Couvillon, a political consultant and pollster.

In the past, Edwards served Louisiana as a four-term governor and a three-term Congressman. He also served eight years in prison after being convicted of 17 criminal counts, including racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail fraud and wire fraud related to licensing of riverboat casinos.

Edwards' fundraising was surpassed by Republican challenger Garret Graves, former head of Governor Bobby Jindal's Coastal Protection and Recovery Authority, who reported nearly $321,000 in contributions this period.

Another top fundraiser reporting on Tuesday was Republican candidate Paul Dietzel II, grandson of famed Louisiana State University Coach Paul Diezel, who raised nearly $98,000 in donations for the quarter.

(Reporting by Lisa Bose McDermott in Texarkana, Texas; Editing by Barbara Goldberg in New York)

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