Three races advance to general election, no seats flipped in Louisiana state legislative specials

Seven seats in the Louisiana House of Representatives were up for special election on February 23, 2019. In Louisiana, all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, face off in the same primary election. If one candidate receives a simple majority of the vote (more than 50 percent) in the primary election, he or she wins outright. Three of the seven races had more than two candidates on the ballot, meaning they could—and did—advance to a general election. The remaining four races were decided in the primary. A total of 14 Democratic candidates, seven Republican candidates, and one independent candidate competed for the seats.
Six of the seven previous incumbents had vacated their seats after winning election to another office, and the seventh resigned to take a job with the state. Three seats were previously held by Democrats, and four were held by Republicans. The races in Districts 12, 17, 26, and 47 had no chance of resulting in flipped seats since only members of the previous officeholders’ party filed for election.
The remaining three races could have resulted in a flipped seat. District 18—previously held by a Democrat—and Districts 27 and 62—previously held by Republicans—all had candidates from multiple parties on the ballot. The races in Districts 18 and 62 advanced to a runoff and could still result in a party change, but the District 27 election was decided outright in the primary and will remain in Republican hands.
  • In District 12, Christopher Turner (R) won the primary outright.
  • In District 17, Rodney McFarland Sr. (D) and Pat Moore (D) advanced to the general election.
  • In District 18, Jeremy LaCombe (D) and Tammi Fabre (R) advanced to the general election.
  • In District 26, Ed Larvadain III (D) won the primary outright.
  • In District 27, Mike Johnson (R) won the primary outright.
  • In District 47, Ryan Bourriaque (R) won the primary outright.
  • In District 62, Dennis Aucoin (R) and Roy Adams (independent) advanced to the general election.
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 had 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.