Alford: Turnover in Louisiana Legislature could get worse

If you want to be a state representative or senator, your next shot could easily come before 2019, Jeremy Alford says.

“So far we’ve already seen seven special legislative elections conducted since this Legislature was seated on Jan. 11, 2016. Between then and now we’ve bid farewell to Sen. Troy Brown, who resigned, and adieu to Reps. Bryan Adams, Mike Johnson, Joe Lopinto, Jack Montoucet, Ed Price and Tom Wilmott, who sought different elected or appointed jobs,” Alford writes in his latest column.

Another special election will be concluded this weekend when voters in St. Tammany Parish select a successor to former Rep. John Schroder, he notes. And yet another will eventually be needed to replace Rep. Helena Moreno, who will become a member of the New Orleans City Council in 2018.

“The angling and positioning adds up to nine special elections, or eight from the House and one from the Senate,” Alford writes. “Nine is a hefty count for a term that hasn’t even passed its midway point, although that does happen at the end of this calendar year.”

The Louisiana Legislature may be on pace to force more special elections than any other in recent memory—which Alford says is fitting for a Legislature that made history last year by working more consecutive days in session than any other since 1812.

House Clerk Butch Speer tells LaPolitics.com the most recently completed term had just seven special elections in the lower chamber, which the current term has already matched and, come this weekend, will exceed.

“The modern high-water mark came during the 2000-2004 term, when there were 14 special elections,” Alford writes. “It’s completely possible that the Legislature will reach that threshold again, and Speer has already publicly predicted that the turnover count ‘could get worse.’”

Read the full column.

Jeremy Alford publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter, or on Facebook. He can be reached at JJA@LaPolitics.com.  

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