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October 14th Primary Election Showed Lukewarm Voter Interest in the Lowest Voter Turnout in Over a Decade

October 18, 2023 4:59 PM | Anonymous

Candidates who have run-off races on Saturday, November 18th will have to do some serious GOTV (Get Out The Vote) work to do since the Governor’s race was decided this past weekend. 

Turnout in this past weekend's primary election was lower than in any gubernatorial contest in more than a decade. The showing was nearly as low as the historically lukewarm turnout in 2011, when former Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal cruised to re-election after no well-organized opponent challenged him.

About 36% of Louisiana's 3 million registered voters cast ballots in the primary. Democrats suffered due to particularly anemic numbers in blue strongholds such as Orleans Parish, where turnout was just 27%. Wilson received 26% of votes cast statewide while none of the four other major candidates for governor reached 10% of the vote. 

With a statewide voter turnout of 35.8%, Attorney General Jeff Landry secured his position as the next Governor of Louisiana in the October 14th primary election. Landry emerged victorious among a field of 14 other candidates with 52% of the vote.  Most anticipated a runoff that Landry would easily have won against Democrat Shawn Wilson, but now Governor-elect Landry can focus the next 60 days on his transition ahead of the January 8th Inauguration.
Shortly after 8 p.m., as election returns began to come in, it was apparent that Louisiana's Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser had secured his re-election with 66% of the vote. However, the races for Secretary of State, Attorney General, and State Treasurer are set to proceed to runoffs on Saturday, November 18th.
Below is a breakdown of the runoff candidates:
Secretary of State

Republican Nancy Landry (19%) faces Democrat "Gwen" Collins-Greenup 19% (knocking out term-limited House Speaker Clay Schexnayder who garnered 15% and Public Service Commissioner Mike Francis with 18% of the vote.
Attorney General

Republican Liz Murrill, who led with 45%, heads into a run-off with Democrat Lindsey Cheek who captured 23% of the vote.

State Representative John Stefanski finished 3rd with 17%

Republican John Fleming, who received 44% of the vote, now faces Democrat Dustin Granger who came in second with 32% of the vote. 

State Representative Scott McKnight finished third with 24%

Senate and House Races

Incumbents in the Louisiana Legislature had a mostly successful night, with only Senator Robert Mills from Shreveport and State Representative Jonathan Goudeau from Lafayette losing their re-election bids. Six House incumbents are headed for runoffs on November 18th.
Eight Senate incumbents won re-election, and eight House members successfully “moved up” and will be sworn in as “Senator” on January 8th, 2024 including Representatives Bob Owens, Rick Edmonds, Valarie Hodges, Greg Miller, Blake Miguez, Alan Seabaugh, Thomas Pressly and Bill Wheat. Jean-Paul Coussan was elected without opposition and an additional House member is guaranteed to transfer to the Senate in the Jenkins v. Glover matchup.
Only two races will be in a runoff in the Senate
both being same-party contests--resulting in a Senate partisan makeup of 28 Republicans and 11 Democrats (a supermajority). 

SD 21: Robert Allain 44% vs. “Bo” LaGrange 31% in Senator Brett Allain’s St Mary-based Senate seat

SD 39: “Sam” Jenkins 34% vs. Cedric Glover 26% for Senator Greg Tarver’s seat in Shreveport

Numerous House races will go to a runoff:

  • HD 4: Joy Walters vs. Jasime Green (Democrats) (Shreveport)
  • HD 18: INCUMBENT State Representative Jeremy Lacombe vs. Tammi Fabre (Republicans) (West Baton Rouge)
  • HD 21: INCUMBENT State Representative C. Travis Johnson vs. Jamie Davis Jr (Democrats) (Concordia)
  • HD 23: Tammy Savoie vs. Shaun Mena (Democrats) (NOLA)
  • HD 53: Jessica Domangue vs. Dirk Guidry (Republicans) (Terrebonne)
  • HD 57: Sylvia Taylor vs. "Russ" Wise (Independent) (River Parishes)
  • HD 63: INCUMBENT State Representative Barbara Carpenter vs. Chauna Banks (Democrats) (North Baton Rouge)
  • HD 64: Kellee Dickerson vs. Kellie Alford (Republicans) (Livingston)
  • HD 65: Brandon Ivey vs. Lauren Ventrella (Republicans) (Central)
  • HD 66: Emiley Chevert vs. Richie Edmonds (Republicans) (East Baton Rouge)
  • HD 68: Republican Dixon McMakin vs. Democrat Belinda Davis (East Baton Rouge)
  • HD 70: INCUMBENT Republican State Representative Barbara Freiberg vs. Democrat "Steve" Myers (East Baton Rouge)
  • HD 74: Peter Egan vs. Buffie Singletary (Republicans) (Northshore)
  • HD 75: Republican John Wyble vs. Democrat Kelvin May (Northshore)
  • HD 89: Kim Carver vs. Josh Allison (Republicans) (Northshore)
  • HD 90: INCUMBENT State Representative Mary DuBuisson vs. Brian Glorioso (Republicans) (Northshore)
  • HD 103: Mike Bayham vs. "Richie" Lewis (Republicans) (St. Bernard)
  • HD 105: Republican Jacob Braud vs. INCUMBENT Democrat State Representative Mack Cormier (Plaquemines)
These election results reflect the shifting political landscape in Louisiana. As the runoffs approach, we encourage you to stay informed and engaged in the democratic process.

Sources: Haynie & Associates and

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Baton Rouge, LA 70808

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