Welcome to the Wednesday, November 15, 2023, Brew.
By: Juan Garcia de Paredes
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Previewing Louisiana’s Nov. 18 elections
- Seven Senate retirements are the most in a decade
- Twenty-nine candidates filed for congressional and statewide offices last week
Previewing Louisiana’s Nov. 18 elections
The 2023 election season isn’t over just yet. On Nov. 18 (yes, a Saturday!), Louisiana voters will decide a number of races, including elections for Secretary of State and the Legislature. Voters will also decide four statewide ballot measures covering issues from taxation to how the Legislature conducts business.
Not all offices up for election this year will be on Saturday’s ballot, though. As regular Brew readers know, Louisiana uses the majority-vote system. All candidates, regardless of party affiliation, run in the same primary. A candidate who gets more than 50% of the vote wins the election outright. Many candidates, including Governor-elect Jeff Landry (R), did exactly that in the Oct. 14 primaries.
That said, it’s not over until the last election is called! So, here’s a look at what’s on the Nov. 18 ballot:
State executive offices
- Secretary of State: Nancy Landry (R) and Gwen Collins-Greenup (D) advanced from the Oct. 14 primary after receiving 19.2% and 19.4% of the vote, respectively. Incumbent Kyle Ardoin (R) did not seek re-election. According to Louisiana Illuminator’s Greg LaRose, the winner of the 2023 election “should expect a fairly intense spotlight” since they would be responsible for “replacing the voting machines the state uses, a process current office holder Kyle Ardoin has had to restart twice.” Landry, a former state representative, has served as Louisiana’s First Assistant Secretary of State since 2019. Collins-Greenup, a private attorney, ran for secretary of state in 2019 and in the 2018 special election.
- Other state executive races: Louisiana voters will also decide races for attorney general, treasurer, and two seats on the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Louisiana is one of four states with state legislative elections this year, along with Virginia, Mississippi, and New Jersey. All 144 districts in the Louisiana Legislature—105 in the House and 39 in the Senate—are up for election this year.
Twenty of those districts—18 House races and two Senate races—will be on the ballot Saturday after no candidate won the primary outright. In 2019, voters decided 29 races in the general election—24 in the House and five in the Senate. In 2015, voters decided 19 races in the general election—15 in the House and 4 in the Senate.
Republicans have a 27-12 majority in the Senate and a 71-33 majority in the House (with one vacancy). The party is guaranteed a simple majority in both chambers after the election because 57% of races had a Republican candidate but no Democrat.
Democrats have not had a House or Senate majority since 2010.
Louisiana currently has a divided government—Republicans hold majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, and a Democrat holds the governor’s office. Once Republican Jeff Landry assumes office in January, Louisiana will become a Republican trifecta. Following Landry’s swearing in, there will be 23 Republican trifectas, 17 Democratic trifectas, and 10 divided governments. This will be the highest number of trifectas nationwide since 1992.
Louisiana voters will decide the following four ballot measures on Saturday:
- Amendment 1: Would allow the Legislature to consider vetoed bills during a regular or extraordinary session rather than convening a separate veto session. It would also clarify that the governor’s deadline to act on a bill is based on the legislative session in which the bill was passed
- Amendment 2: Would repeal constitutional provisions establishing various state funds that are now inactive and transfer remaining money in the funds to the state general fund
- Amendment 3: Would authorize local governments to provide an additional property tax exemption of up to $2,500 for first responders including fire fighters, emergency medical service personnel, emergency response dispatchers, peace officers, police officers, and sheriffs.
- Amendment 4: Would allow the Legislature, through a two-thirds supermajority vote, to use up to $250 million of funds in the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund to alleviate a budget deficit.
The four amendments on the Nov. 18 Louisiana ballot are the last statewide measures of the year. Louisiana voters approved four other amendments on Oct. 14. Forty-one statewide measures made the ballot in 2023, the most for an odd-numbered year since 2007.
We are also covering five local measures on the ballot in New Orleans. Click here to read more about those.
Seven Senate retirements are the most in a decade
Since Oct. 17, 11 members of Congress—nine House members and two Senators—have announced they will not seek re-election in 2024. The nine House members include four Republicans and five Democrats. The two retiring Senators are both Democrats.
Including the retirements above, 32 members of Congress—seven U.S. Senators and 25 House members—have announced they will not seek re-election in 2024.
The seven Senate retirements so far match those announced for the entire 2014 election cycle. Five of the retiring Senators this cycle are Democrats, and two are Republicans.
Sens. Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are the two most recent Senate retirees.
Butler was appointed in October to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who died on Sept. 29. Manchin, a former governor, has been in the Senate since 2010. They are both retiring from public office.
Besides Butler and Manchin, four other Senators not running for re-election are retiring from public office:
- Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.);
- Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.);
- Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.); and,
- Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah)
U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) is running for governor of Indiana.
When compared to the last three election cycles, there were six Senate retirements at this point in 2022, four at this point in 2020, and two at this point in 2018.
On the House side, 25 members—16 Democrats and nine Republicans—have announced they will not seek re-election as of Nov. 14. Twenty-four House members had announced they were not running for re-election at this point in the 2022 election cycle. Twenty-seven members had announced at this point in the 2020 cycle, and 31 had announced at this point in the 2018 cycle.
Eleven of the 25 U.S. House members not running for re-election—nine Democrats and two Republicans—are running for the U.S. Senate. These members include eight running for the open seats in California, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Indiana, and West Virginia:
- Reps. Barbara Lee (D), Katie Porter (D), and Adam Schiff (D) are running to replace Butler in California;
- Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D) is running to replace Carper in Delaware;
- Rep. David Trone (D) is running to replace Cardin in Maryland;
- Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D) is running to replace Stabenow in Michigan;
- Rep. Jim Banks (R) is running to replace Braun in Indiana; and,
- Rep. Alex Mooney (R) is running to replace Manchin in West Virginia.
And three other House members are challenging incumbent Senators:
- Rep. Andy Kim (D) is running against Sen. Robert Menendez (D) in New Jersey;
- Rep. Rubén Gallego (D) is running against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I) in Arizona; and,
- Rep. Colin Allred (D) is running against Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in Texas.
Additionally, three members are running for other offices:
- Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) is running for governor of Virginia;
- Reps. Dan Bishop (R) and Jeff Jackson (D) are both running for attorney general in North Carolina.
Eleven House members—five Democrats and six Republicans—have announced their retirement from public office.
Twenty-nine candidates filed for congressional and statewide offices last week
Twenty-nine people declared candidacies for congressional or statewide offices in the past week, 93 fewer than last week. All of these candidates declared before their state’s official filing deadline.
Nine of those candidates were Democratic, while 18 were Republican. Two filed as independents.
Sixteen candidates are running for Congress, 12 for state legislatures, and one is running for the Colorado State Board of Regents. Among them are:
- Two Republican candidates who filed to run for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District
- One Democratic candidate who filed to run for District 62 in Indiana’s House of Representatives
- Two Democratic candidates who filed to run for Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District
- One Republican candidate who filed to run for the open U.S. Senate seat in Michigan
Since the beginning of the year, Ballotpedia has identified 2,210 declared candidates for congressional and statewide offices. At this time in 2021, Ballotpedia had identified 2,408 declared candidates for 2022, 2023, and 2024 races.
An official candidate is someone who registers with a federal or state campaign finance agency before the candidate filing deadline or appears on candidate lists government election agencies release. A declared candidate is someone who has not completed the steps to become an official candidate but who might have done one or more of the following:
- Appeared in candidate forums or debates
- Published a campaign website
- Published campaign social media pages
- Advertised online, on television, or through print
- Issued press releases
- Interviewed with media publications
For more on Ballotpedia’s definition of candidacy, click here.