Next month, not only will some Louisiana voters have runoffs for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general on their ballots. There will be some legislative races on the ballot as well across the state. Four state Senate seats and 15 state House seats went into runoffs this Saturday. Of which, one candidate has already withdrawn from their race.
Some of these races are going to be very interesting for many reasons. Some of these races will test how strong the Democrat Party is in white, rural areas. Some of these races are going to shape the direction of both parties.
Senate District 12 Beth Mizell (R) vs Mickey Murphy (D)
This race is probably going to be most watched in the state. The seat was held by Democrat Ben Nevers for three terms but Mizell nearly won last time around. Mizell led on Saturday with 43% of the vote and Murphy was a distant second with 33%.
On paper, the odds should benefit Mizell but she got her 43% because the Democrat GOTV effort was silent as expected. One will imagine that Democrats will be a lot more active next month. Plus, much of the district is composed of John Bel Edwards’s base voters, white rural Democrats. However, we think Mizell pulls it out because Mizell is a talented politician and the district has been more conservative leaning over the years.
Hayride Prediction: Mizell win, Republican gain
Senate District 38 Richie Burford (R) vs John Milkovich (D)
This race for Republican Shari Buffington’s seat headed to a runoff with these two guys running neck and neck. State Rep. Richie Burford led with 35% and attorney John Milkovich ran second with 33%. This is a test to see if Democrats are in any position to reverse losses in white districts.
Although Milkovich is running as an school conservative Democrat, Burford has to be favored in this race. The district has been a Republican stronghold for years. Party affiliation should be enough to put Burford on top.
Hayride Prediction: Burford win, Republican hold
House District 32 Dorothy Sue Hill (D) vs Llewellyn “Biscuit” Smith (R)
State Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill is the incumbent and she nearly won outright on Saturday with 49%. “Biscuit” Smith ran a distant second with 37%. The district had one of the higher turnouts in the state at 41.2%. Republicans had been targeting this seat.
Although the seat has been getting more and more Republican, it’s hard to see a path to victory for “Biscuit.” The only reason why Hill was forced into the runoff was because of the other Democrat in the race. We just don’t see “Biscuit” making up 13% next month.
Hayride Prediction: Hill win, Democrat hold
House District 51 Beryl Adams Amedee (R) vs Joe Harrison (R)
State Rep. Joe Harrison ran second in this race to Beryl Amedee on Saturday, 41%-37%. That’s not good for an incumbent. He’s under Federal investigation over his campaign finances and he’s not too particularly liked by conservatives.
Although there was a Democrat in the race, we believe ideology is not the only factor in the race. We believe that this race is as much a referendum on Harrison’s character as his voting pattern. Combine that with the fact that an incumbent running second in the jungle primary is almost always a troubling sign and it adds to an Amedee win.
Hayride Prediction: Amedee win, Republican hold
House District 103 Ray Garofalo (R) vs Casey Hunnicutt (D)
State Rep. Ray Garofalo ran first with 39% vs St. Bernard Parish Councilman Hunnicutt’s 22%. The teacher’s unions, trial lawyers, and every other left-wing special interest in playing in this race.
The problem with calling this race is that St. Bernard is a hard parish to predict. If you hold a gun to my head, I say Garofalo pulls it out but it will be very close and he will need some help from the top of the ticket.
Hayride Prediction: Garofalo win, Republican hold