With fewer uncontested state legislative races in Louisiana this year, will more races proceed to a general election?

All 39 seats in the Louisiana State Senate and all 105 seats in the Louisiana House of Representatives are up for election in 2019, the first elections since 2015. Each year, due to the state’s unique election system, some races are decided in the primary election and never proceed to a general election.
 
All candidates compete in one primary election, which a candidate may win outright by receiving a majority of the votes cast. If no candidate wins the primary outright, the top two finishers advance to a general election to decide the winner.
 
In the Senate, 14 elections were decided in the primary in 2015 and 15 were decided in the primary in 2011. In both years, four races were decided in a general election.
 
In the House in 2015, 37 races were decided in the primary election and 15 in the general election. In 2011, 41 races were decided in the primary election and 21 in the general election.
 
This year, there are fewer uncontested races (11 Senate and 39 House) than in the last two election cycles. In 2015, 21 Senate and 53 House races had only one candidate. In 2011, 20 Senate and 43 House races had only one candidate.
 
Republicans currently hold a 25-14 majority in the Senate and a 60-39 majority in the House (there are 5 independents and a vacancy). Democrat John Bel Edwards is the current governor, so the state has divided government rather than a state government trifecta.
 
The state legislative elections coincide with the gubernatorial election, with primary elections taking place on October 12 and general elections taking place on November 16.
 
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Joel Williams

Joel Williams is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at joel.williams@ballotpedia.org

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