Louisiana’s Republican-controlled legislature voted to override Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards’s veto of the congressional redistricting plan they passed in mid-February.
The new congressional maps will maintain the partisan makeup status quo of the the state’s delegation to the United States House of Representatives.
Louisiana’s U.S. House delegation currently consists of five Republican representatives and one Democrat. According to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight district partisan rating system, the most competitive district in the state is Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District, which it gives a R+23 rating. The Democrat Second district, a majority minority seat, has a D+56 rating.
No districts are expected to change partisan hands in the November elections under these new maps.
The Republican legislature passed their plan on February 18. Governor Edwards vetoed the plan a few weeks later because he desired a plan that would have added a Democrat seat to Louisiana’s delegation and subtracted a Republican one. The veto override vote came on March 31.
Needing a two-thirds majority vote, even with a unanimous vote of their caucus, Republicans needed help to override Edwards’ veto. One Democrat and three independents voted with the GOP state House members to override the veto, 72-31. They didn’t need or get the help in the state Senate, where the party line vote was 27-11.
Unless a court strikes the new U.S. House maps down, the new lines will stand.
A day before that the legislature overrode Edward’s veto, a NAACP-led federal lawsuit was filed challenging the validity of the new districts. The lawsuit claims that the new lines violate the Voting Rights Act and that an additional majority-minority district should be added.
The scheduled candidate filing deadline for Louisiana’s primaries is July 22, 2022. Unlike most states, Louisiana does not have a partisan primary system, but rather an open primary one where candidates of all parties are on the ballot. When the rest of the country goes to vote in their general elections on November 8, 2022, Louisiana is scheduled to hold their open primaries.
If no candidate receives a 50 percent plus one vote majority in the open primary, then there will be a subsequent run-off election. If this occurs in one of the U.S. House district races, Louisiana would hold a U.S. House general election run-off on December 10, 2022. That scenario can result from a race that has multiple strong candidates from the same party running for the same seat.
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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTR, Twitter, and Parler.
Photo “John Bel Edwards” by Richard David Ramsey. CC BY-SA 3.0. Background Photo “Louisiana State Capitol” by Bluepoint951. CC BY-CC BY-SA 2.5.