Nancy Landry (R) defeated Gwen Collins-Greenup (D) in the Nov. 18 general election for Louisiana Secretary of State. As of Nov. 18, Landry received 67% of the vote to Collins-Greenup’s 33%. Incumbent Kyle Ardoin (R) did not for re-election.
Louisiana’s secretary of state is the state’s chief election officer. 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 and Collins-Greenup advanced from the all-party primary on Oct. 14, 2023. Landry received 19.4% of the vote, followed by Collins-Greenup with 19.2%. In Louisiana, if no candidate wins more than 50% in the primary, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of their partisan affiliation.
Landry, a former state representative, had served as Louisiana’s First Assistant Secretary of State since 2019. Landry campaigned on her experience: “While serving as First Assistant Secretary of State, I gained the critical experience needed for the upcoming elections and beyond. With everything on the line, 2024 might be the most important election in our lifetime. There is no time for a Secretary of State who needs on-the-job training.” Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Landry on Nov. 16.
Collins-Greenup, a private attorney, ran for secretary of state in 2019 and in the 2018 special election. She advanced to the general election in both years, losing to Ardoin 59-41% on both occasions. Collins-Greenup said she ran “to strengthen our businesses, secure our elections, and protect every eligible Louisiana citizen’s right to vote.”
Both Landry and Greenup said they would replace the state’s voting machines with machines that count ballots electronically, but leave a paper trail, something the state’s current machines don’t do.
Ardoin announced he would not run for re-election in April 2023, citing criticism surrounding how his office administered elections in the state. Ardoin said it was “shameful and outright dangerous that a small minority of vocal individuals [had] chosen to denigrate the hard work of [his office’s] election staff and spread unproven falsehoods.”
From 2003 to 2023, four elections for secretary of state advanced to a general election, while four were decided in the primary. The last Democrat elected to the office was W. Fox McKeithen in 1987. McKeithen switched parties in 1989 and served in the position as a Republican until his death in office in 2005.