Louisiana House members dissatisfied with plans to merge their districts in a massive reshaping of the 105 House seats attempted to revise the map today. The debate may be their final opportunity to make major changes to the proposal. Whatever political boundary-line redesign is approved by the full House likely won’t face major adjustment by the Senate. The two bodies have traditionally left each other’s district maps alone in redistricting sessions.
In one of the most significant changes today, one pair of Democratic lawmakers who would have been pitted against each other in merged districts this fall succeeded in reworking the central Louisiana districts to move two Republicans together instead. Four sets of representatives would be forced to run against one another to maintain their seats this fall: Reps. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, and Nick Lorusso, R-New Orleans; Reps. Wesley Bishop, D-New Orleans, and Charmaine Marchand Stiaes, D-New Orleans; Reps. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, and Richard Burford, R-Stonewall; and Reps. Billy Chandler, R-Dry Prong, and Rick Nowlin, R-Natchitoches.
The combination of Chandler and Nowlin was a change adopted in a narrow 51-48 vote today, reworking the central Louisiana districts and keeping Reps. Chris Roy, D-Alexandria, and James Armes, D-Leesville, from being forced into the same district. The full Senate is planning to consider its redrawing of the 39 state Senate districts Tuesday.