(The Center Square) — Louisiana voters on Saturday will elect several candidates to statewide office, settle runoffs races for state House and Senate seats, and decide on four constitutional amendments.
The race to replace outgoing Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin will be among the most high-profile, with Republican First Assistant Secretary of State Nancy Landry facing off against Democratic attorney Gwen Collins-Greenup, who has twice run for the post in 2018 and 2019.
Both candidates garnered roughly 19.3% of the vote in the October election in a crowded field of eight candidates. Saturday’s winner will be tasked with transitioning to new voting machines required by law amid widespread distrust in the election process following the 2020 presidential election.
Landry has acknowledged the public’s perception of election security and vowed to continue work procuring a new system started by Ardoin, who is not seeking reelection. That system would provide “a way for the voter to verify the accuracy of their vote before they cast their ballot and a way for our office to conduct an audit after every election,” she said at a candidate’s forum.
Collins-Greenup, who casts herself as “the people’s candidate,” has said she’d pursue a similar system and increase voter outreach to “protect every eligible Louisiana citizen’s right to vote.”
The attorney general’s race is also on the ballot, pitting Republican Solicitor General Liz Murrill, top deputy to Governor-elect Jeff Landry, against Democratic trial attorney Lindsey Cheek. Murrill garnered 45.24% of the vote in October to Cheek’s 23.4%.
Murrill has touted her “proven track record defending this state and our conservative values,” while Cheeks has focused on expanding abortion access, improving the state’s insurance marketplace, and other progressive policies.
Republican former congressman John Fleming and Democratic financial advisor Dustin Granger will be on the ballot in the treasurer’s race after garnering 44% and 32% of the October vote, respectively. Fleming, endorsed by the state Republican Party, has said his focus will be on maximizing the state’s investments. At the same time, Garner has vowed to consider environmental, social and governance factors opposed by current Treasurer John Schroder.
Voters will also decide four constitutional amendments.
Amendment 1 would allow lawmakers to hold gubernatorial vetoes during the regular session rather than calling a special session as required. The amendment would clarify the governor’s deadlines for deciding on bills, as well.
Amendment 2 aims to remove six inactive funds from the Louisiana Constitution that are no longer being used for their intended purpose.
Amendment 3 would allow parishes to offer property tax exemptions to police, firefighters and first responders who own homes and live within their jurisdictions.
Amendment 4 would make it harder for lawmakers to spend money from the state’s Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund, a savings account with about $2.2 billion from corporate income and franchise taxes, and dollars from oil and gas exploration.
Republican Stacey Melerine and Democrat Emma Shepard are competing for a District 4 state school board seat, while Republican Kevin Berken will face Republican Erick Knezek in District 7.
For the Louisiana Senate, Franklin Republican incumbent Sen. Bret Allain will face Republican St. May Parish Chief Administrative Officer Bo LaGrange in District 21, 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.
Louisiana House races will feature 18 runoffs that include four between Democrats, one between a Democrat and an independent, nine between Republicans, and four between Republicans and Democrats.