Republican State Representative and semi-professional standup comedian Jonathan Perry is Louisiana’s newest state senator, as the Kaplan resident defeated Democrat Nathan Granger of Erath 10,179 votes to 9,491 (52 percent to 48 percent) to win the crucial District 26 seat.
With the victory, Republicans have now come from almost nowhere to capturing a majority of Louisiana’s Senate seats. The GOP has 20 of the 39 seats in the Senate, its first majority since Reconstruction.
Perry’s victory was made possible by carrying Vermilion Parish, the heart of District 26. He beat Granger 6902 votes to 6096 in that parish, but lost in Acadia Parish (2,080 votes to 2095), Lafayette (932 to 1000) and St. Landry (265 to 300). It’s his third electoral victory. Previously Perry had won races for the Kaplan City Council and the state representative post he held until tonight’s election. Perry is expected to be sworn in within the next 10 days, and he’ll be in the Senate for the start of the special session for legislative redistricting.
“I am truly humbled and blessed by the results and so very thankful for all of my friends, family and supporters who helped us in this effort,” said the victor. “We kept our message of helping and fighting for Senate District 26 positive, and I am excited that the great people of District 26 agreed with our message.”
“The voters have spoken and have made their choice,” said Granger. “I congratulate Jonathan Perry for this victory. I wish him well in his work as our state senator.
“I want to thank each and every person who cast a vote, put out a yard sign, made a phone call, wrote a check or wore a t-shirt on my behalf.
“I want to thank my wife Dana, our children and my family for their support. But most importantly I want to thank God for the lessons I’ve learned and the friends I’ve made on this journey.”
Louisiana Republican Party chairman Roger Villere was understandably ecstatic.
“First and foremost, congratulations to Senator-elect Jonathan Perry. Jonathan ran a strong race focusing on his accomplishments in the State House on behalf of Louisiana families and small businesses, and I’m confident he will continue to fight for them in the Senate.”
“After more than a century in the minority, today every non-federal statewide office is held by a Republican and our Party has majorities in the State House and State Senate,” said Chairman Villere. “These three tremendous accomplishments are a testament to the growth of our Party, the strength of our candidates, and Louisiana’s conservative values. Now in the majority, our Party has the responsibility to lead – and lead we will.”
“This is a special night for Senator-elect Perry, the Republican Party, but also the people of Southwest Louisiana who have in Senator Perry someone who truly represents their principles and values,” said an equally elated Senate Republican Delegation Chairman Danny Martiny. “As the leader of the Senate Republican Delegation, it certainly is satisfying to know that the hard work of a lot of good people over the years has now culminated in a Republican majority in the State Senate.
“I do believe that the fact the we now have a Republican Senate, Republican House, Republican Governor, all Republican statewide elected officials, and Republicans representing seven out of nine of our congressional delegation paints a pretty clear picture of the views and values of the Louisiana people.”
Perry’s victory came despite being badly outspent by Granger, who had raised or loaned himself some $310,000 for the campaign, about double the amount in Perry’s war chest. A sizable volunteer army proved decisive for the Republican; Louisiana GOP executive director Jason Dore’ said that individuals combined to knock on 8,000 doors and make 30,000 phone calls on Perry’s behalf in the race; an indication of a stunning grass-roots effort in a special election with just under 20,000 votes cast.