If you’re not a Republican, but you want to vote in the GOP’s closed primaries, then you have only two more days to visit your local registrar of voters.
If you’re not a Republican, but you want to vote in the GOP’s closed primaries, then you have only two more days to visit your local registrar of voters. That’s because the Louisiana Republican Party will only allow Republicans to vote in their Aug. 28 primaries for the U.S. House and Senate.
The primaries scheduled by the state’s Democratic and Libertarian parties, meanwhile, will be open to unaffiliated voters, including those registered as other, independent or none. Republicans, however, will not be able to take part — that’s unless, of course, they change their party affiliation in time for next month’s closed primaries, which state law permits to happen up until close of business Wednesday afternoon.
Louisiana conducted open primaries for federal elections, where all candidates face off on a single ballot, until 2008. And, due to widespread confusion at the polls in recent years due to the closed primary system, the Legislature voted earlier this summer to return the state to a open system beginning in 2011. But for now, Louisiana has one last cycle under closed federal primaries.
In the 3rd Congressional District, which encompasses portions of Acadiana, each of the four candidates offers different attributes and strengths for their respective party primaries. None, though, are as well positioned as Houma attorney Ravi Sangisetty, who, as the only Democrat in the race, has already won his primary contest. As such, Sangisetty advances directly to the Nov. 2 ballot where he will face the victor of the Republican primary, which is considerably more crowded.
To be sure, the three Republicans in the 3rd District race are making a push to convert voters. For example, the campaign of Jeff Landry, a New Iberia attorney, has been e-mailing supporters for days about the upcoming deadline to change parties. “This is a critical election,” Landry wrote in one e-mail. “(President Barack) Obama and (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi’s liberal Congress continue to force their leftwing agenda down the throats of the American people. Their stimulus did not stimulate, and we still have an unemployment rate near 10 percent.” Landry, in particular, has been picking up support from the religious factions of his party, most recently securing the endorsement of the political arm of the National Family Research Council, a conservative, Christian-advocacy group. Landry’s campaign manager is also Phillip Joffrion, a former field director for Gov. Bobby Jindal who vacated his post as political director of the Louisiana Republican Party to join the campaign.
Former state House Speaker Hunt Downer, once a registered Democrat earlier in his political career, is directing voters on his Web site to the appropriate paperwork needed to switch parties. Downer, a Houma native, has found support among the state party’s traditional base — the Jefferson Parish Republican Party has already announced its backing — and he has received donations from many of the party’s biggest contributors. Kristian Magar, an oilfield manager from New Iberia and the final Republican in the race, is running a true grassroots campaign with financials that are significantly smaller than his opponents’, but he did receive the endorsement of America’s Independent Party Affiliates recently, which is a conservative offshoot of the GOP with a chapter in Louisiana.
Overall, the 3rd Congressional District includes more than 400,000 voters, of which 223,500 are Democrat, 86,400 are Republican and 93,000 are defined as “other.” The 139,000 voters in Lafayette Parish include 57,600 Democrats, 45,500 Republicans and 36,000 other-party voters.
The Aug. 28 election will also play host to closed primaries for the U.S. Senate race. There are three Republican candidates, including Nick J. Accardo, Chet Traylor and incumbent U.S. Sen. David Vitter. The Democratic Party has three candidates, including Neeson J. Chauvin, Jr., Cary J. Deaton and U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, who is vacating the 3rd Congressional District to make his bid. For the first time in Louisiana history, the Libertarian Party also has two candidates for a primary election, including Anthony Gentile and Randall Todd Hayes. William R. McShan was the only candidate who qualified for the Reform Party and will progress to the November general election, even though his party would normally be allowed to hold a closed primary.
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 23, 2014:
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.
With pressure continuing to build for him to resign, Congressman Vance McAllister announced plans recently to remain secluded during the Easter break, but the Swartz Republican has said he’ll be back on the Hill casting votes and attending committee meetings when the congressional recess ends April 28.
A bid to limit the use of unmanned aircraft on private property in Louisiana stalled Monday in the Louisiana Senate.
A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Attorney hopes fellow lawyers will join him in urging the D.A. to step aside and allow a competent, ethical challenger to take over the scandal-ridden office.
An official with the Louisiana Department of Education was arrested on a range of charges Friday after allegedly breaking into a home and brandishing a knife.
State Rep. Stuart Bishop says he’s concerned with the quality of Capitol Lake, but when it comes to Louisiana’s coastline, this Lafayette Republican doesn't seem to give a damn.
Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms.
Louisiana lawmakers are entering the second half of their three-month regular legislative session, which must end by June 2. Where some of the major issues stand:
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”