President Donald Trump returned to Southwest Louisiana on Friday to drum up support for the top leading Republican candidates on the eve of the state's gubernatorial election.

Speaking to a crowd of more than 7,450 at the Civic Center, Trump praised the people of Louisiana and talked about the importance of the election and deciding on the future direction of the state.

"You work hard, you pay your taxes, you raise your children, you follow our laws,you respect our police, you defend our values and you stand strong for God, family and country," he said.

This was Trump's third visit to Southwest Louisiana since taking office. His last visit to Southwest Louisiana was in May when he visited Sempra Engery's $10 billion LNG export facility in Hackberry.

Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy recognized Trump's visits to the state, telling the crowd, "I told you, Donald J. Trump loves Louisiana like the devil loves sin."

The remark, like many made throughout the evening,

drew rounds of applauds from the crowd many supporting Keep American Great and Trump 2020 hats and t-shirts.

Trump asked Louisiana voters to build on their beliefs and turn the state around electing a new Republican governor.

"Tomorrow you will head to the polls and vote to replace a liberal Democrat who has sold you out, John Bel Edwards, with a great new Republican governor," he said calling on Republican voters to keep Edwards from reaching 50 percent of the votes and avoiding a runoff on Nov. 16.

Noting the importance of LSU football in the state, Trump urged voters to head to the polls early before the big rivalry game against the Florida Gators.

"I want you to enjoy the game, but I don't want you to enjoy the game if you don't vote first," he said.

Trump shied away from naming a specific gubernatorial candidate, saying either Republican - third term Congressman Ralph Abraham or businessman Eddie Rispone would be good for the state. Polls show incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is seeking for re-election to a second term, in the lead.

He said Louisiana cannot take four more years of a Democratic governor who has continued to raise taxes and cost the state jobs because of policies that are not good for the state.

"Send the radical Democratic establishment a loud and clear message," Trump said. "You are going to fire your Democratic governor for doing a lousy job."

Trump touted that under his Republican leadership, America is stronger and better than than ever before.

He said he has created thousands of jobs and opened 10,000 new factories since his election.

Trump also hinted at a new deal with China in which China will buy $40 billion to $50 billion worth of agriculture goods from American farmers, including those in Louisiana.

"I just made a great China deal today for energy, for the farmers, for the banks and others," he said. "I want to tell you, I got China to order a lot."

Trump was joined on stage by members of the Eastbank All-Stars, the reigning Little League baseball championship team. The team met with Trump earlier in the day at the White House and flew back to the state aboard Air Force One, joining the president on the stage.

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