John Bel Edwards (born September 16, 1966) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the 56th and current Governor of Louisiana since 2016. He was previously the Minority Leader of the Louisiana House of Representatives for two terms. He left the state legislature to run for governor in 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, he defeated Republican U. S. Senator David Vitter in the second round of the 2015 election. He is a United States Army veteran, having served with the 82nd Airborne Division.