Qualifying Has Begun For Louisiana’s 2018 Elections

We’ll have this post, which we’ll update a little with latest developments this morning, and then we’ll have another post this afternoon with the rest of the day’s developments as qualifying gets underway for this fall’s midterm election cycle.

The significant races on the ballot are the state’s six Congressional seats, none of which are expected to be particularly competitive, the special election for the open Secretary of State position, the Public Service Commission District 2 race, races in the 1st and 5th Districts of the state Supreme Court and three state House of Representatives special-election races in the 10th, 33rd and 90th Districts.

So far, the candidates qualifying are…

Secretary of State: Renee Free, a Democrat attorney working in the Department of Justice’s consumer protection department, and former Republican state senator A.G. Crowe. It’s expected that a pair of Republican state representatives, Julie Stokes and Rick Edmonds, will also enter the race between now and the close of qualifying on Friday. Beyond those, though, it doesn’t look like there will be any others. At one time it was thought state representative Paul Hollis would jump in, but Hollis decided not to run. And earlier this week there was a rumor state representative Steve Carter might run, but that now looks unlikely.

Congress – LA-01: Howard Kearney, a Libertarian, has filed qualifying papers to run against Steve Scalise, who’ll qualify later. There are supposed to be Democrats in the race; one is named Jim Francis, one is named Tammy Savoie and another is Lee Ann Dugas. Dugas and Kearney have run against Scalise before, and not with particularly impressive results.

UPDATE: Francis has now qualified.

Congress – LA-02: Nobody has qualified yet. This one is likely going to be either unopposed or only token resistance for the incumbent Cedric Richmond.

UPDATE: Richmond has now qualified.

Congress – LA-03: This is Clay Higgins’ district, and he’s got a Republican opponent named Josh Guillory. We reported on the minor splash Guillory made with former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani coming to Lafayette for a fundraising event. The race is also reportedly drawing an independent named Dave Langlinais and as many as four Democrats – Rob Anderson, Phillip Conner, Mimi Methvin and Verone Thomas. So far Anderson is the only one filing qualifying papers.

Congress – LA-04: So far nobody has qualified yet, and while there is a challenger to Mike Johnson for this seat, an environmental activist and Bernie Bro named Ryan Trundle, this won’t be much of a race. Johnson is not beatable in that district and the Democrats know it.

Congress – LA-05: This is Ralph Abraham’s seat, and as we discussed last week the Democrats have been trying to keep people out of it because LA-05 dips down into South Louisiana close enough to the Baton Rouge (via the Felicianas) and New Orleans (Washington Parish) media markets that Abraham could justify going up on TV with biographical ads paid for out of his federal campaign account to lay the groundwork for a gubernatorial run. They don’t want him to have that opportunity, and he won’t get it unless he draws an opponent it doesn’t look like he’ll have. Don’t be surprised if next week you see Abraham go ahead and launch his 2019 gubernatorial campaign unless something unexpected happens with qualifying this week.

Congress – LA-06: There are expected to be a pair of Democrats running against Garret Graves for this seat, and one of them, Justin DeWitt, has filed qualifying papers so far. The other, Andie Saizan, has not. Graves will also have an intraparty challenge from perennial candidate Bob Bell, plus an independent challenger in Devin Lance Graham. It’s unlikely any of the challengers will put up much of a fight in this race.


Supreme Court – 1st District: Incumbent Greg Guidry has qualified for re-election. He’s unlikely to get much of a challenge.

Supreme Court – 5th District: Jeff Hughes is the incumbent. We haven’t heard anything about a challenger so far, and nobody has qualified in the race as yet.

Louisiana House of Representatives – District 10: This is the seat being vacated by former House Democrat Caucus chair Gene Reynolds, who resigned to take a job running the state parks. Reynolds endorsed a Republican, a veterinarian from Springhill named Wayne McMahen whose father Doc McMahen was the sheriff in Webster Parish from 1980-96. McMahen qualified this morning and he’s the likely winner in a Republican district which voted 65 percent for Donald Trump and 63 percent for John Kennedy in 2016.

Louisiana House of Representatives – District 33: This seat opened up when Democrat Mike Danahay successfully ran for mayor of Sulphur, and it’s considered a potential Republican pickup; Trump received 81 percent and Kennedy 78 percent of the vote in the 2016 elections. So far a pair of Democrats – Les Farnum and Teri Johnson – have qualified, as has a Republican named Stuart Moss, a Sulphur city councilman.

Louisiana House of Representatives – District 90: This is Greg Cromer’s old seat, vacated when Cromer left the House to become mayor of Slidell. Two Republicans have qualified so far – a Slidell lawyer named Brian Glorioso and John Raymond, a businessman and pastor from Slidell. A Democrat named Sean Morrison, an attorney, has also said he’ll run.



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