Louisiana holds its majority vote primary Saturday. This hybrid system is unique, although some other states use a similar approach for special elections. All candidates for a seat appear together on a single ballot. If one gets a majority of the vote, they are elected. Otherwise, the top two advance to a general election runoff.
The runoff elections, as needed, will take place on Saturday, November 18.
Polls close at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is completing his second term and, by law, is ineligible to run for a third consecutive term.
The field is crowded, with 15 candidates, including eight Republicans, five independents, and two Democrats.1 The clear frontrunners are Republican Jeff Landry and Democrat Shawn Wilson. Landry is the Louisiana Attorney General, first elected in 2015. Wilson is the former Louisiana Secretary of Transportation under Bel Edwards; he resigned earlier this year to launch his campaign.
The last four public polls of the race, conducted from mid-August to mid-September, were quite consistent. Landry averaged 39%, Wilson 24%. No other candidate reached double digits.
Sabato's Crystal Ball has a nice overview of the race, along with useful background on recent gubernatorial history and how Louisiana's unique system impacts the approach of the political parties.
For those just interested in the forecaster's bottom line: Landry is likely to be the state's next governor, flipping the seat to the Republicans. While it is possible he wins with an outright majority Saturday, the number of Republicans on the ballot means the more likely outcome is a runoff against Wilson.
If Landry does win, the state will have a Republican trifecta once he is sworn in.
Other Statewide Offices
Louisiana is one of 17 states that elect the lieutenant governor in a separate election. That means the governor and lieutenant can be from different parties, which is currently the case.
Interestingly, the term limit rules keeping Bel Edwards off the gubernatorial ballot do not apply to other statewide offices. As a result, Republican Billy Nungesser is seeking - and favored to win - a third term.
Secretary of State
Republican Kyle Ardoin did not seek reelection. There are eight candidates on the ballot: Five Republicans, two Democrats, and an independent.
Incumbent Republican Jeff Landry is the frontrunner to be the state's next governor. There are three Republicans and two Democrats on the ballot to succeed him.
Republicans hold large majorities in both chambers of the Louisiana Legislature. While we might normally say that 'partisan control isn't likely to change', it is definitive here due to the number of uncontested seats. As Ballotpedia notes, "In the Louisiana House, Republicans need 53 seats and are guaranteed 59, while in the Louisiana Senate, they need 20 seats and are guaranteed 23."
Republicans hold a 27-12 edge in the Louisiana State Senate. Members serve four-year terms.
Republicans hold a 71-33 edge in the Louisiana House of Representatives. There is one vacancy. Members serve four-year terms.
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