Louisiana midterm election allows House incumbents to retain control, Constitutional amendments to pass

Emily Meyer | Senior Staff Artist

On Nov. 6, people across Louisiana, including some Tulane students, took to the polls to elect the next set of representatives and vote on state constitutional amendments. Here is a rundown of the election results in Louisiana.

House Races

In Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District, incumbent Steve Scalise (R) held on to office with a landslide victory over Tammy Savoie. Scalise has been in office since 2008 and currently serves at the House Majority Whip.

The 2nd District winner, incumbent Cedric Richmond (D) has been in office since 2011. He has served as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus since 2017.

Incumbent Clay Higgins (R) defeated several opponents to retain control of the 3rd District. This will be Higgins’ second term in office.

In the 4th District, incumbent Mike Johnson (R) defeated Ryan Trundle to mark his second term in the House.

The 5th District winner, incumbent Ralph Abraham (R) was elected to his third term in office with a win over Jessee Fleenor. He has served on the Committee on Agriculture; the Committee on Science, Space and Technology; and the United States House Committee on Armed Services.

Incumbent Garret Graves (R) won a sizeable victory over a few democratic opponents in the 6th District. This will be his third term in office. He serves on the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Secretary of State

In a surprising turn of events, incumbent Kyle Ardoin (R) will be challenged by Gwen Collins-Greenup (D) in a runoff election for Secretary of State. Ardoin received 21 percent of the vote while Collins-Greenup received 19 percent. Collins-Greenup, an unlikely candidate for office, raised the least amount of money and was the only black candidate in the race. If she wins, she will be Louisiana’s first female secretary of state since 1932 and only the second in state history. The runoff election is scheduled for Dec. 8.

Constitutional Amendments

In addition to candidates, Louisiana voters saw a number of proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot this year.  

Two amendments that gained attention deal with the criminal justice system. Amendment 1 prohibits felons from seeking office until five years after their sentence is finished. Amendment 2, which abolished split jury verdicts, gained national attention as Louisiana is the second to last state to pass this measure. The previous law allowed felons to be convicted of serious crimes with only 10 of 12 jury votes. This was often used during the Jim Crow era to convict black citizens more easily. Both of these measures passed by a large margin.

Amendment 3 allows municipalities and other political subdivisions to donate and loan equipment to one another. This passed on a closer margin: 56 to 44 percent.

Amendment 4 would ban the use of state road and bridge funds from going to state police for traffic control. This amendment is seen as a way to restore voters’ trust in transportation spending in the state. The measure passed 55 to 44 percent.

Amendments 5 and 6, both of which passed, dealt with property taxes. Amendment 5 would allow homeowners to place their property in a trust to be passed down, thus ensuring tax exemptions. Amendment 6 called for the protection of homeowners against property tax hikes. If a property tax rises by more than 50 percent, the increase will be phased in over a four-year period.

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