Gov. John Bel Edwards meets with Louisiana delegation in DC — minus one member

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who was sworn into office last week,  met with the state’s congressional delegation in Washington on Thursday — minus one noteworthy member.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter, the state’s senior senator, didn’t attend the meeting, which took place in House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s Capitol office.

Edwards beat Vitter in a blistering campaign battle last fall.

Edwards’ spokesman said Vitter was invited to attend the meeting with the other members of the delegation, but he deferred to Vitter’s office regarding the reason for Vitter’s absence. Vitter’s spokeswoman hasn’t responded to The Advocate’s request for additional information.

Vitter has a year left on his senate term but has said that he will not seek re-election this fall.

Edwards tweeted a photo of himself meeting with U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican who attended Edwards’ inauguration last week (Vitter did not), and all six of the state’s U.S. Representatives. He then tweeted to Scalise, thanking him for “bringing the delegation together.”

“The Governor and the members of the Congressional delegation had a productive meeting where they discussed a number of priorities for the state, including transportation and Medicaid expansion,” Edwards’ spokesman Richard Carbo said of the meeting. “It was an opportunity to open the lines of communication between his administration and our federal leaders, and he hopes this is the start of an conversation about how to move Louisiana forward.”

Edwards is in Washington, D.C., this week for meetings with officials and the annual Washington Mardi Gras festivities.