Maginnis: Regional elections have wider impact
No candidates ran statewide on the Nov. 6 ballot, but the impacts of three regional races will be felt statewide—and one nationally, perhaps. The runoff in the 3rd Congressional District, between two Republican incumbents thrown together by redistricting, will attract national attention, if only because it is the last race left in the U.S. House of Representatives. Political reporters in withdrawal have nowhere else to go. More than that, the contest between Congressmen Charles Boustany of Lafayette and Jeff Landry of New Iberia reflects the internal struggle within the GOP House Caucus. And for all the commotion and conflict it took to name Justice Bernette Johnson the next chief of the state Supreme Court, its future balance will be more determined by who wins the runoff in the Capital Region. Given the very split field of Republican candidates, it was no surprise that Court of Appeal Judge John Michael Guidry of Baton Rouge, the endorsed Democrat, led the primary. But the big election-night winner was appellate Judge Jeff Hughes of Denham Springs, who beat out four other Republican judges and a well-funded Democratic attorney to make the runoff. Now endorsed by Gov. Bobby Jindal and with a two-thirds white electorate, Hughes is strongly favored over Guidry, who is black. Meanwhile, former Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle had a hard time making up his mind to run for the Public Service Commission, but when he did, he rolled to an impressive 57% majority over four candidates. With the win, some now see Angelle assuming the mantle of the state's leading Cajun politician, holding an office that historically has been a steppingstone to statewide election. Read the full column here.
(John Maginnis publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com.)
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