Kyle Ardoin

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Robert Kyle Ardoin​


Louisiana Secretary of State​
Incumbent
Assumed office 
May 9, 2018

(Acting secretary of state from May 9 to December 8, 2018​)

Governor John Bel Edwards

Born July 31, 1967
Ville Platte, Evangeline Parish, Louisiana
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Letti Lowe Ardoin
Children Abbigale Ardoin ​
Residence Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Alma mater Louisiana State University

Robert Kyle Ardoin, known as Kyle Ardoin (born July 31, 1967), is the Louisiana Secretary of State, a post he has filled since May 18, 2018.. A Republican, he won an easy victory in the special election runoff contest to finish the remaining thirteen months of the term of Tom Schedler, who resigned in the spring of 2018 under a sexual harassment cloud.​

Background

A native of Ville Platte in Evangeline Parish and a former resident of Brusly in West Baton Rouge Parish, Ardoin, a graduate of Louisiana State University, resides in the capital city of Baton Rouge. In 2010, he became the first assistant secretary of state. On May 9, 2018, he became the acting secretary of state the day after Schedler's resignation.[1][2]

Political life

On November 6, 2018, in the in nonpartisan blanket primary to fill the remainder of Schedler's term through January 13, 2020, Ardoin received 298,652 votes (20 percent), barely leading the field but advancing to the runoff contest in which he faced Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup, an African-American, who finished with 289,070 votes (also 20 percent).[3] In the runoff, held a month later on December 8, Ardoin defeated Collins-Greenup, 306,538 (59 percent) to 210,080 (41 percent), in a turnout of just 17.2 percent of registered voters.[4]

In July 2019, Ardoin hired outgoing state Representative Nancy Landry, a Moderate Republican from Lafayette to become his chief of staff.[5]

In the primary election for a full term as secretary of state held on October 12, 2019, Ardoin led a four-candidate field with 528,246 (41 percent). Two other Republicans, Thomas J. Kennedy, III, and Amanda "Jennings" Smith, held, respectively, another 244,139 votes (19 percent) and 78,903 (6 percent). Therefore, Ardoin faced his former opponent Gwen Collins-Greenup, who received 434,580 votes (34 percent) in the primary. Nearly two-thirds of primary voters cast ballots for the three Republican candidates. Turnout in the contest was 43.4 percent of registered voters.[6] In his advertising in the primary, Ardoin stressed his support to maintain election integrity.[7] With 99 percent of returns tabulated, Ardoin defeated Collins-Greenup, 867,449 to 601,102 votes, again a 59-41 percent split, even as Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone was defeated by incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards.

In 2007, Ardoin fell short in a race for House District 68 to succeed the Democrat-turned-Republican incumbent William Daniel, a petroleum engineer. Ardoin led the legislative vote with 5,531 ballots (41 percent) to fellow Republican Steve Carter's 5,242 votes (38.9 percent). The remaining 2,705 votes (20 percent) were received by Jay Lyles.[8] In the second balloting on November 17, which had a lower turnout because of the lack of a gubernatorial contest, Carter prevailed by 87 votes, 4,967 (50.4 percent) to Ardoin's 4,880 (49.6 percent).[9]

Expansion of mail-in ballots in 2020

In April 2020, Ardoin proposed the expansion of mail-in ballots for the presidential primaries and local elections set for July in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which particularly impacted New Orleans. The move was denounced by conservatives, such as the radio talk show host Moon Griffon, who contend that the lack of safeguards regarding voter identification will lead to fraudulent elections. The plan appears to have the support of the twenty-three Republican Fraud Squad members in the House who usually support Governor Edwards. Griffon noted that Ardoin and others considered "conservative" sat on the platform for U.S. President Donald Trump when Trump came twice in 2019 to campaign for the failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone and then propose bills weakening voter identification n contrast to Trump's opposition to mail-in ballots.[10]

In September 2020, Ardoin announced that he would not appeal a U.S. District Court decision that requires his office to expand the availability of absentee mail ballots for the November 3 presidential election. Ardoin said that there was insufficient time to appeal the decision because of the logistics of preparing for the upcoming election.[11]

References

  1. Kyle Ardoin is officially Louisiana's temporary secretary of state. The New Orleans Times-Picayune (May 9, 2018). Retrieved on July 8, 2018; no longer on-line.
  2. Ardoin sworn in as Secretary of State | Local/State Headlines. hannapub.com (Sam Hanna company) (May 24, 2018). Retrieved on October 15, 2019.
  3. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 6, 2018.
  4. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, December 8, 2018.
  5. State Rep. Nancy Landry resigns to work for Secretary of State. The Monroe News-Star (July 18, 2019).
  6. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 12, 2019.
  7. The Moon Griffon Show, October 11, 2019.
  8. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 20, 2007.
  9. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 17, 2007.
  10. The Moon Griffon Show, April 22, 2020.
  11. Mark Ballard (September 25, 2020). Kyle Ardoin won't appeal decision to expand Louisiana absentee mail ballots for Nov. 3 election. The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved on September 29, 2020.

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