Alford: Saturday’s elections bring few surprises

    This past weekend’s elections in Louisiana brought with them the first official day of spring, one new member of Congress and a couple of local upsets. The primary also gave us a pair of high-profile runoffs that will play out on April 24. 

    Regarding these top races, we already knew there would be no pickups or flips for the mainline parties, writes Jeremy Alford in his new opinion piece.  

    The 5th Congressional District (in northeast Louisiana) and House District 82 (in Jefferson Parish) will remain Republican and the 2nd Congressional District will remain Democratic.

    We also already knew that the winner in the 5th District—Julia Letlow has become the first Republican woman from the state to serve in the U.S. House—and the 2nd District—Sens. Troy Carter and Karen Carter Peterson are in a runoff—will both take office sharing some of the same political goals. Particularly, both of the new members will need to immediately engage with the rapidly unfolding redistricting process, albeit for different reasons. 

    For Letlow, concerns will need to be addressed about the population losses in north Louisiana. State lawmakers, to be certain, know some changes will have to be made to one or both of the northern districts. So a fight is coming, whether Congresswoman-elect Letlow wants one or not.

    As for the next member representing the 2nd District, whether it be Carter or Peterson, they will instantly become a powerful voice on the subject of majority-minority districts. Not only will the freshman member have to protect their own district, there are many Democrats campaigning for a second majority-minority district in Louisiana. While that may be a non-starter in the GOP-led Legislature, a conversation will be had nonetheless. 

    Read Alford’s full column, which includes more details and analysis about other items on the ballot last weekend.