BATON ROUGE, La. — U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins has become the first Republican member of Louisiana's congressional delegation to choose a favorite among the two major GOP contenders for governor. Higgins is supporting his colleague, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham.

Wednesday's endorsement comes as more Republicans are starting to pick sides in the race between Abraham and Republican businessman Eddie Rispone. Rispone has faced Republican backlash after he launched an attack ad against Abraham.

Both Abraham and Rispone are vying against Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards on the Oct. 12 ballot.

In a statement, Higgins called Abraham a strong conservative, a dependable ally to President Donald Trump and a personal friend. He described Abraham as "the righteous candidate."

Higgins represents south-central and southwest Louisiana in Congress. Abraham represents a northeast Louisiana-based district.

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