Key Events

  • Steve Scalise leads Louisiana incumbents returning to U.S. House
  • John Kennedy wins re-election to the U.S. Senate
  • Royce Duplessis, Caleb Kleinpeter win elections to join Louisiana Senate
  • Louisiana voters set to reject 5 of 8 constitutional amendments, including controversial slavery proposal
  • Incumbent Boissiere faces runoff for Public Service Commission
  • Shreveport, Alexandria oust incumbent mayors
  • Greg Abbott reelected governor of Texas, defeating Beto O’Rourke
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders elected first female governor of Arkansas
  • Florida voters give DeSantis a resounding win for a second term as governor
  • Barriers fall in Maryland as Wes Moore becomes first Black governor

Tuesday’s election didn’t do much to change the political dynamic of the Louisiana Senate, though two new members will join the upper chamber.

State Rep. Royce Duplessis beat out fellow Democrat Rep. Mandie Landry to take a Senate seat in New Orleans. He replaces former Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, a Democrat who resigned shortly before she admitted to illegally spending campaign and state party funds.

West Baton Rouge Parish Council member Caleb Kleinpeter, a Republican, finished ahead of Rep. Jeremy Lacombe, a Democrat, to win a Senate race in the Baton Rouge area. He will take over for former Sen. Rick Ward, a Republican who stepped down in June to take a job with a lobbying firm.

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Incumbent Boissiere faces runoff for Public Service Commission

By: Greg LaRose – 11:33 pm

Challengers to District 3 Public Service Commissioner Lambert Boissiere III attacked him in unison for accepting campaign contributions from the utility companies he regulates. Their strategy was effective, forcing the three-term incumbent into a Dec. 10 runoff.

Boissiere received 43% of the vote with a few precincts in his home base of New Orleans still being counted. Devante Lewis, a former school teacher and fiscal activist from Baton Rouge, was second with 18% support. New Orleans pastor Gregory Manning was in third place.

“After tonight, I would hope that our Public Service Commissioner regrets skating by for nearly two decades, accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Entergy and Cleco, and letting our utility system crumble in the face of worsening hurricanes,” Lewis said in a statement. “But, to be honest, I think that he’s once again going to choose taking Entergy’s donations over giving power to the people.”

Members of the Public Service Commission service six-year terms. District 2, which spans from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, is the only one with a majority-minority voter composition that all but ensures a Black office holder.

In the only other PSC race on Tuesday’s ballot, incumbent Mike Francis sailed to an easy win in District 4. He represents portions of Acadiana and Central Louisiana.

Shreveport, Alexandria oust incumbent mayors

By: Greg LaRose – 10:40 pm

Voters in two of Louisiana’s largest cities chose to replace their mayors, with both elections tied closely to public safety and economic issues. Shreveport will hold a runoff next month, while Alexandria brings a familiar face back to City Hall.

Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins was in fourth place with 18% support with votes still being counted late Tuesday. His replacement will be either Republican City Councilman Tom Arceneaux, who received 29% of the vote, and Democratic state Sen. Greg Tarver, with 24%.

Perkins’ reelection bid faced challenges right out of the gate when a Shreveport voter challenged the mayor’s residency. A state judge disqualified Perkins, and that ruling that upheld at the appellate level. It wasn’t until the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned the decision that Perkins was allowed back in the race.

Alexandria voters have placed the city’s former leader, Jacques Roy, back in office. He held the seat from 2006 to 2018, when he decided not to seek re-election.

Roy avoided a runoff with 51% of the vote. He finished ahead of one-term incumbent Jeff Hall (22%) and City Council member Catherine Davidson (19%).

Louisiana voters set to reject 5 of 8 constitutional amendments, including controversial slavery proposal

By: Piper Hutchinson – 10:09 pm

With ballots still being counted Tuesday night, six out of 10 Louisiana voters have opposed an amendment to the state constitution that would prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude but allow forced labor as part of a criminal sentence.

With more than 70% of statewide precincts reporting, four other proposed amendments were also well down the path toward failure.

Amendment 7, which in its original wording would have banned slavery and involuntary servitude, was watered down during the legislative process to the point that its author, Rep. Edmond Jordan, D-Baton Rouge, asked voters to reject the proposal.

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Greg Abbott reelected governor of Texas, defeating Beto O’Rourke

By: Patrick Svitek – 9:40 pm

Greg Abbott decisively won a third term as governor of Texas on Tuesday, defeating Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke after a tumultuous few years marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, a deadly power grid failure, new restrictions on voting rights and abortion and the Uvalde school shooting. Decision Desk HQ called the election for Abbott at 9:23 p.m. Central Time.

Abbott, 64, a former state attorney general and Texas Supreme Court justice, faced his toughest opponent yet in O’Rourke, who repeatedly outraised the incumbent and broke a state fundraising record. But Abbott campaigned relentlessly on border security and capitalized on national headwinds favoring the GOP by tying O’Rourke to President Joe Biden, who is unpopular nationwide but especially in Texas.

O’Rourke sought to make the race a referendum on Abbott’s dramatic second term, emphasizing the grid failure and arguing Abbott had become too extreme on issues like guns and abortion. Both the Uvalde massacre and overturning of Roe v. Wade bolstered O’Rourke’s case, as Abbott resisted any new gun-control measures and his near-total abortion ban took effect.

Abbott largely ignored those issues as he campaigned more on the border, the economy and public safety. And he regularly reached back to comments that O’Rourke made during and around his unsuccessful 2020 presidential campaign, arguing O’Rourke showed he was too liberal for Texas.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders elected first female governor of Arkansas

By: Hunter Field – 9:12 pm

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former White House press secretary, was elected Arkansas governor on Tuesday. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Sanders, whose father served as Arkansas governor from 1996-2007, is the first woman elected to lead the state.

The Little Rock Republican defeated Democrat Chris Jones and Libertarian Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. in a race that she was heavily favored to win from the start.

She enjoyed the backing of her former boss, former President Donald J. Trump.

Read more from the Arkansas Advocate.

Steve Scalise leads Louisiana incumbents returning to U.S. House

By: Greg LaRose – 9:07 pm

Rep. Steve Scalise, who will be a frontrunner for the House Speaker’s role should Republicans gain a majority in the chamber, has won his seventh term in office, according to Associated Press projections. He retains his 1st Congressional District seat, easily defeating Democrat Katie Darling and Libertarian Howard Kearney.

As of 9 p.m., the AP declared three other incumbents winners in Louisiana House Districts.

The state’s lone Democrat in the delegation, Rep. Troy Carter of New Orleans, has defeated Republican challenger Dan Lux in the 2nd District content. Carter now earns a full term after completing the term of Cedric Richmond, who left office to join the Biden White House.

In the 5th District, Rep. Julia Letlow, R-Monroe, will remain in office, besting four challengers.

In the 6th District, Congressman Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, easily bested two opponents with 82% of the vote as of 9 p.m.

The only race lacking the AP’s confirmation was in the 3rd District, where Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre, held a decisive advantage over seven challenges.

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Shreveport, did not have opposition in Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District.

Florida voters give DeSantis a resounding win for a second term as governor

By: Mitch Perry – 8:54 pm

Republican Ron DeSantis has won a second term in office as Florida governor, using tens of millions from his campaign war chest as well as his conservative brand of leadership. The governor also was successful in using a huge inflation rate to link to Democrats, President Joe Biden and opponent Charlie Crist. Gov. Ron DeSantis (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

DeSantis, 44, defeated Democrat Crist by double digits in the race.

The governor’s resounding victory made clear that Florida is dramatically more conservative-leaning compared to when DeSantis narrowly defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum in the gubernatorial race four years ago.

In his initial victory in 2018, DeSantis defeated Gillum by fewer than 33,000 votes, a difference of less than one-half of 1%.

Read more from the Florida Phoenix.

John Kennedy wins re-election to the U.S. Senate

By: Greg LaRose – 8:36 pm

Less than 30 minutes after polls closed in Louisiana, the Associated Press has declared incumbent U.S. Sen. John Kennedy the outright winner in his race against a dozen challengers.

As of 8:30, Kennedy had received 70% of the vote, placing him well ahead of Democrats Luke Mixon (13%) and Gary Chambers (11%).

Those two challengers, along with Syrita Steib, received a blanket endorsement from the Louisiana Democratic Party, as opposed to a single candidate being endorsed.

Barriers fall in Maryland as Wes Moore becomes first Black governor

By: Bruce DePuyt – 8:28 pm

Democrat Wes Moore cruised to victory in the race for Maryland governor on Tuesday over Republican state legislator Dan Cox. Wes Moore (Photo by Danielle E. Gaines)

Several national news organizations declared Moore the winner just moments after polls were scheduled to close at 8 p.m. Eastern

Moore, a charismatic 44-year-old political newcomer with a sterling resume that includes experience in business, philanthropy and the military, is poised to make history, becoming just the third Black person in U.S. history — and the first in Maryland — to be elected governor.

Gov. Larry Hogan, the state’s term-limited Republican governor, leaves office on Jan. 18, following eight years in power.

Read more from Maryland Matters.

Louisiana Illuminator is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Louisiana Illuminator maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Greg LaRose for questions: info@lailluminator.com. Follow Louisiana Illuminator on Facebook and Twitter.

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Louisiana Illuminator

The Louisiana Illuminator is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization driven by its mission to cast light on how decisions are made in Baton Rouge and how they affect the lives of everyday...