Louisiana Republicans could add to their supermajorities in the Legislature



(The Center Square) — Louisiana Republicans are poised to expand their current supermajority in the Senate and could do the same in the House when voters cast ballots in 20 runoffs later this month.

Louisiana’s Oct. 14 open primary resulted in 27 Republicans and 10 Democrats winning seats in the Louisiana Senate, where Republicans currently hold a 27-12 supermajority.

No candidate eclipsed 50% of the vote in two districts, resulting in runoff elections in District 21 and District 39.

Franklin Republican incumbent Sen. Bret Allain will face Republican St. May Parish Chief Administrative Officer Bo LaGrange in District 21 on Nov. 18, ensuring Republicans hold that seat.

Likewise, the general election in Senate District 39 will feature two Democrats for the post vacated by Democratic Sen. Greg Tarver: Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover and state Rep. Sam Jenkins.

The situation suggests Republicans will hold a 28-11 advantage in the upper chamber when new members are sworn in next year, expanding the current hold in the Senate by one seat.

It’s a similar dynamic in the state House, where 60 Republicans and 27 Democrats won seats in October, leaving 18 races to the general election.

The 18 runoffs include four between Democrats, one between a Democrat and an independent, nine between Republicans, and four between Republicans and Democrats. The results show Republicans will secure at least 69 House seats, while Democrats have locked in 31.

With a Republican supermajority of 71-33, with one independent, currently in the lower chamber, the four runoffs between the parties will decide whether Republicans expand their control.

In those contests, Republicans secured more votes than Democrats during the primary.

The races include District 68, currently held by East Baton Rouge Republican Rep. Scott McKnight, who ran for Louisiana Treasurer but was knocked out in October.

Vying to replace McKnight is Democratic member of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Belinda Davis and Republican attorney and financial advisor Dixon McMakin, endorsed by Governor-elect Jeff Landry. Davis garnered 31.1% of the October vote to McMakin’s 31.8%.

In District 70, incumbent Republican Rep. Barbara Freiberg of Baton Rouge will face off against Steve Myers, a Democratic lawyer and real estate broker who ran and lost as a Republican for a judge position in the 19th Judicial District in March. Freiberg led the October voting with 39%, compared to 27% who voted for Myers.

Republican CEO John Wyble will take on Democratic candidate Kelvin May to replace Bogalusa Republican Rep. Malinda White in District 75. Wyble collected 48% of the vote on Oct. 14, while May took 26%.

District 105 will feature a runoff between Republican attorney Jacob Braud and incumbent Democratic Rep. Mack Cormier of Belle Chasse. Braud led primary voting with 40%, while Cormier secured 29%.

Louisiana Republicans secured the first legislative supermajority in state history in March. Rep. Francis Thompson, the longest-serving legislator in Baton Rouge, changed his party registration from Democrat to Republican.



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