Louisiana’s House Leadership Takes Shape, And A Four-Year Fight Brews

Here was a release last night from State Representative Blake Miguez, a Republican from Erath who’s going to play an important role in the House of Representatives over the next four years…

By a vote of 49-15, Representative Blake Miguez (R-New Iberia) has been elected as the Chairman of the Republican Delegation of the Louisiana House of Representatives.  Rep. Miguez will replace outgoing Chairman Lance Harris (R-Alexandria) who has led House Republicans for the past seven years.

The following is a statement from Louisiana State Representative Blake Miguez regarding his election as Chairman.

“I am honored to be elected by House members as their leader of the House Republican Legislative Delegation.  I want to thank Rep. Harris for his years of previous leadership to our delegation.  In this new leadership role, I will work hard along with my House colleagues to develop conservative solutions that bring prosperity to Louisiana.  At 68 members and a near super-majority, Republicans have a voice that is stronger than ever in the House.  I am excited at the opportunity to work with this new group of Representatives to make Louisiana a better place for all our families.  Together we are ready to face the hard work ahead to ensure that state government truly serves the hard-working taxpayers of Louisiana”

Joining Representative Miguez on the Executive Committee will be Representative Mark Wright (R-Covington) as Vice Chairman; Representative-Elect Michael Echols (R-Monroe) as Secretary; and Representative Rick Edmonds (R-Baton Rouge) as Treasurer.

The House Republican Delegation also recently endorsed Speaker candidate Representative Sherman Mack (R-Albany) by an overwhelming majority to lead the House for the 2020-2024 legislative term.

“House Republicans made history when they chose to nominate their own candidate for Speaker of the House.  I stand with my delegation to support Representative Sherman Mack as the Republican endorsed candidate for Speaker of the House.  I look forward to working with Representative Mack to help unite our party and lead Louisiana forward.”

There’s a pro-Mack faction and an anti-Mack faction at this point, and the two sides seem to differ on the question of who has how many votes.

The anti-Mack faction says they’ve got 23 Republicans committed to support, at this point, Rep. Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales) rather than Mack. But the pro-Mack faction says that can’t possibly be right since they’ve already secured more than 53 votes – 52 from House Republican delegation members, an independent in Roy Daryl Adams from Clinton and even three Democrats. We don’t know who those are.

In fact, nobody really knows what the votes are at this point, because there is no public ballot and the official vote for the Speakership won’t come until January. But what we do know is Mack’s leadership team is made up of the kind of people who will gleefully carry a fight to Edwards’ doorstep. People like Jack McFarland, Tony Bacala, Alan Seabaugh, Miguez, Rick Edmonds and Mark Wright won’t be trifled with, and they’re mostly fairly strategic thinkers who will push a very aggressive agenda.

That isn’t to say a different speaker wouldn’t act similarly with similar people. In fact, given the composition of the House, it increasingly seems impossible to build a leadership structure in a different way. With Miguez in charge of the delegation, and with the Senate no longer available to Edwards as a shield against the House, the Republicans in that body will be more aggressive, and, in Edwards’ terminology, “obstructionist,” than ever.

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