Voters went to the polls Saturday to elect new members to the state Legislature in a special primary election that was held to fill seven vacant seats.
Four candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote and won their respective House seats outright. Three districts (17th, 18th and 62nd) will hold run-off elections on March 30 because no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote.
Of the seven legislative races Saturday, only two were competitive, Jeffrey D. Sadow, associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University Shreveport, said. In the other districts, one party controlled the likely outcomes.
In four of the district races, candidates from only one political party ran. Voters in Districts 12 and 47 voted between Republican candidates. Voters in Districts 17 and 26 voted between two Democrats.
The 18th, 27th, and 62nd district candidates represented at least two political parties. Among these, the 18th District “offers the only real chance for a party takeover, by Republicans,” Sadow said.
The 18th and the 62nd could result in Republican wins, he said.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, four candidates won handily.
In the 12th District, Conservative Republican Chris Turner won 70 percent of the vote, defeating moderate Republican Jake Halley.
In the 27th District, Republican Mike Johnson won by the largest margin – 92 percent to 8 percent, defeating Democrat Richard Kretzsinger.
In District 47, Republican Ryan Bourriaque defeated Ruben Rivera Jr. with 63 percent of the vote.
Democrat Ed Larvadain III won 61 percent of the vote in District 26, defeating Democrat Sandra Franklin.
In District 17, among four Democrats, Pat Moore received 49 percent of the vote, just shy of 50 percent, resulting in a run-off between his Democratic opponent, Rodney McFarland, Sr.
In the 18th District, running against five other opponents, Democrat Jeremy LaCombe received 43 percent of the vote. Republican Tammi Fabre received 23 percent and Democrat NaTashia Carter Benoit received 22 percent. This race will go to a run-off.
And in District 62, Republican Dennis Aucoin, considered the favorite, received 45 percent of the vote running against four other candidates. Independent Roy Daryl Adams received 31 percent of the vote. This race will also go to a run-off.
The seven districts cover all or parts of Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Lincoln, Ouachita, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Union, Vermilion, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes.
After the March 30 special runoff election, all winners will have to run again in the general election held in October to regain their seats.
This article was first published on Watchdog.org.