DemDaily: Saturday’s Election Results! Louisiana

October 16, 2023

The Louisiana governor's mansion fell to the Republicans on Saturday, with Attorney General Jeff Landry capturing 51.6% of the vote -- exceeding the majority threshold and winning the election outright against Democrat Shawn Wilson and a crowded field of contenders.

Under Louisiana's jungle primary system, all candidates appear on the same ballot, regardless of their party affiliation. If one candidate does not win with a majority of the vote, the top two candidates go to a runoff general election.

Wilson came in second to Landry with 25.9% of the vote, with the remaining 13 candidates, led by businessman and previous aide to former Governor Bobby Jindal Stephen Waguespack (R) and State Treasurer John Schroder (R) -- all below 6%.

The victory for Landry -- endorsed by former President Donald Trump, US House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (LA) and the Louisiana state GOP -- flips The Pelican State, which for the last eight years has been held by term-limited Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.

Wilson, who in March stepped down as Louisiana Secretary of Transportation to launch his campaign with Edwards' endorsement, was seen as the party's best hope for holding onto a state that abandoned its solidly Democratic roots two decades ago. Louisiana has voted Republican in the last six presidential elections, giving Donald Trump a 15% victory in 2020.

Although Edwards, the lone Democratic governor in the Deep South, was elected twice as the only statewide Democrat, his conservative stances on abortion and other issues successfully appealed to old-line Louisiana Democrats and moderates.

Also on the Ballot
Democrats have advanced to the November 18 general election runoff in three other statewide races.

Attorney General: In the open AG contest, New Orleans trial lawyer and political newcomer Lindsey Cheek (D), who came in second with 22.5% of the vote, will face conservative state Solicitor General and Landry deputy Liz Murrill (R), who led with 46%.

The five-candidate primary was the state's most contentious, with Cheek edging out Republican State Representative John Stefanski (17%), and attorneys Martin Maley (R) and Perry Walker Terrebonne (D), who received 7.3% and 7.2% respectively.

Secretary of State: Democratic attorney Gwen Collins-Greenup, who narrowly lost two previous runoffs for the office, and First Assistant Secretary of State Nancy Landry (R) are headed to the general election runoff for Secretary of State -- with just 984 votes separating them.

In the competitive eight-way primary to succeed retiring incumbent Republican Kyle Ardoin, Landry secured 19.34% to Collins-Greenup's 19.25% of the vote, trailed by Public Service Commissioner Mike Francis (R) with 17.9%. Former Louisiana House Speaker Clay Schexnayder garnered 14.69%, followed by Democratic former State Representative Arthur Morrell (11.13%),Thomas Kennedy III (10.05%), Republican Brandon Trosclair (6.33%) and Independent Amanda Smith Jennings (1.3%).

Election integrity roiled the normally staid race, with some pro-Trump candidates clinging to the former president's post-presidential conspiracy theories, despite his win in the state. The next Secretary of State will be responsible for choosing and implementing the state's new voting system, mandated by the GOP legislature after the 2020 presidential election.

State Treasurer: In the seat vacated by John Schroder (R), a runoff will be held between former four-term Republican Congressman and Trump administration official John Fleming and Democratic financial advisor Dustin Granger.

Fleming received 44.8% of the vote to Granger's 31%, followed by State Representative Scott McKnight (R) with 24.2%.

The Louisiana gubernatorial election is one of three up in 2023, along with Kentucky and Mississippi. See: DemDaily: The 2023 Election Calendar!

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Sources: Ballotpedia, NOLA.com, New York Times, AP, Louisiana SOS, WDSU, WWNO

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