The Battle For House District 75 Is Starting To Heat Up In Washington Parish

House District 75 is setting up to be an interesting race. The seat is being vacated by State Rep. Harold Ritchie (D-Bogalusa) who is term-limited.

Before the holiday, a couple of Democrats have entered the race. As of now, the race is going to be between Washington Parish Councilman Chuck Nassauer (D-Bogalusa) and Bogalusa City Councilwoman Malinda White.

First up is Nassauer’s announcement:

“The Washington Parish president and council have done a great job with limited revenues to improve our roads. But infrastructure and access — roads and bridges — has been a long term commitment for me,” Nassauer said. “We send gasoline and fuel taxes to the highway trust fund and get very little back. We need state and federal help if we are to succeed in opening this district to interstate traffic. I will press hard for the construction of Louisiana Highway 3241 and the widening of Louisiana Highways 10 and 16.

“Our teachers and state employees have not been given the fair treatment they deserve, and I will fight for them in Baton Rouge to ensure they have a seat at the table,” Nassauer added.

“I will also strive to work with every person in the district to improve the quality of our lives and environment and assure access to quality health care in the rural areas of our state,” he said.

Nassauer continued, “As a lifetime resident of Washington Parish, as a health care provider in the parish for 30 years, and as a parish councilman for 16 years, I look forward to bringing my experience to the state legislature to work on producing positive changes to our parish while still maintaining our unique quality of life that makes Washington Parish special.”

Next up is White’s announcement:

White said in a news release she has a proven record of initiating and promoting positive changes and improvements throughout the Washington Parish community. She described herself as “open minded, a good listener, and eager to get to work for the benefit of the parish at the legislative level.”

From first glance, it appears Nassauer has the more coherent platform where as White is relying on platitudes such as “open-minded” as her appeal. Nassauer is running as a conventional rural white Louisiana Democrat where as White is more malleable.

What I hope will happen is that a Republican will get into the race. District 75, which consists of eastern Washington Parish and a very small section of north St. Tammany Parish, is not the Democrat stronghold that it used to be. As more and more people move into rural Washington Parish from St. Tammany, there emerges a scenario for a Republican victory.

A successful Republican candidate can do this to win:

  • Run up their vote totals in the rural areas. These areas already vote Republican statewide and for Federal offices, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be voting GOP for the Legislature.
  • Get just enough of the white vote in Bogalusa to get 50%+1.

But Republicans don’t even contest this seat. In order to truly change Louisiana, we must end the practice of not contesting certain Democrat seats. As far as I’m concerned, there shouldn’t be any “safe spaces” for Democrats in Louisiana.

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