Seven Louisiana special elections could result in up to three flipped State House seats

Seven seats on the Louisiana House of Representatives are up for special election on February 23, 2019. In Louisiana, all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, face off in the primary election. If a candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote in the primary election, he or she wins outright. If no candidate reaches that threshold on Saturday, the top-two candidates in each race advance to a general election scheduled for March 30. Four of the seven races have only two candidates on the ballot, meaning they will not advance to a general election. The other three have between four and six candidates appearing on the ballot.
 
Six of the seven previous incumbents vacated their seats after winning election to another office, with the last resigning to take a job with the state. Three seats were previously held by Democrats and four were held by Republicans. A total of 14 Democratic candidates, seven Republican candidates, and one independent candidate will compete for the seats. Districts 17 and 26 will remain in Democratic hands as no Republican candidates filed for those seats. Likewise, Districts 12 and 47 will stay Republican. The remaining three races could result in a flipped seat; District 18—previously held by a Democrat—and Districts 27 and 62—previously held by Republicans—all have candidates from multiple parties on the ballot.
 
As of February, 42 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year. Before the February special elections, the Louisiana House of Representatives has 36 Democrats, 59 Republicans, three independents, and seven vacancies. All 105 seats are up for election in 2019. A majority in the chamber requires 53 seats. Louisiana has a divided government with a Democratic governor but Republican majorities in both state legislative chambers.



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Marielle Bricker

Marielle Bricker is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at marielle.bricker@ballotpedia.org

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