As the Louisiana Legislature readies itself for redistricting following the release of the U.S. Census Bureau’s report on demographic and population data, Acadiana’s two congressmen, Charles Boustany and newly elected Jeff Landry, are already squaring off in the national media for what could be a showdown if their districts are consolidated.
The state will lose one of its seven seats; the question is how the remaining six districts will be reconfigured.
Boustany, who represents the 7th Congressional District, which reaches from Cameron to Lafayette, and Landry’s 3rd District, which covers all of the state’s eastern coastal parishes and travels up into Iberia and St. Martin, have been doing some preemptive posturing before the state’s special session begins.
“There is a need for one voice,” Landry tells Politico. “I think there is a tremendous amount of hunger on the coast for it.”
Landry is speaking of the proposal by State Rep. Joe Harrison, who represents three parishes in the 3rd District, to create a single congressional coastal district that would stretch from Mississippi to the Texas border.
Boustany, who represents the inland cities of Lake Charles and Lafayette as well as coastal Cameron and Vermilion, accuses Landry of politicizing the redistricting effort in order to give himself an advantage, should the two face each other in an election.
“He’s trying to gerrymander a district that would give him a potential seat,” Boustany tells Politico. “It’s part of the game he is trying to play.”