Candidates interested in running in the special election for the District 82 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives had until January 27, 2021, to file. The primary is scheduled for March 20, and the general election, if needed, is set for April 24.
Louisiana elections use the majority-vote system. All candidates compete in the same primary, and a candidate can win the election outright by receiving more than 50% of the vote. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election, regardless of their partisan affiliation.
Three candidates—Raymond Delaney Jr. (D), Edwin Connick (R), and Laurie Schlegel (R)—filed to run in the special election.
The special election became necessary after Charles Henry (R) resigned his seat on January 12. Henry was elected to the state House in 2019 with 70.5% of the vote.
Louisiana has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the state Senate by a 27-12 margin and the state House by a 66-35 margin with two independents and two vacancies. Democrat John Bel Edwards was elected governor of Louisiana in 2015.
As of January 2021, 25 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.