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Two special election candidates avert run-offs in Louisiana

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January 19, 2011

By Tyler Millhouse

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Louisiana held two special elections Saturday to fill vacancies in District 22 of the Louisiana State Senate and District 101 of the Louisiana House of Representatives. The senate vacancy was created when Troy Hebert (Independent) resigned in November 2010 to become Louisiana's alcohol and tobacco control commissioner.[1] In the house, Cedric Richmond (D) won election to the U.S. Congress in the November 2, 2010, general election.[2] In both elections open primaries were held Saturday, with runoffs scheduled for February 19 if no candidate received more than 50% of the vote. All candidates, regardless of party affiliation, appear on the same ballot.[3]

In District 22, Fred Mills, Jr. (R), pharmacist, business owner, and bank executive, bested 5 other candidates, receiving a majority of the votes and averting a runoff election.[4][5] In District 101, Wesley Bishop (D), an attorney and SUNO administrator, defeated two other candidates and avoided a runoff.[6][7] Both candidates won by a significant margin, with Mills' nearest opponent receiving 19% of the vote and Bishop's nearest opponent receiving 13%.[8]

Partisan impact

Since Mills (R) replaced Troy Hebert, an independent, the Louisiana GOP has successfully tied the Louisiana State Senate. However, the tie will face a challenge in the February 19 special election to replace Nick Gautreaux (D). The party that captures this seat will command a majority in the senate and gain significantly greater influence over the 2010 census redistricting process.

Louisiana Senate Partisan Balance

Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 13
     Republican Party 26
Total 39

Louisiana State House Partisan Balance

Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 44
     Republican Party 58
     Independent 2
     Vacancy 1
Total 105

See also

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