AP NEWS

Louisiana lawmaker shuffle: Elections fill seats, open more

December 11, 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The fall elections have reshuffled seats in the Louisiana Legislature and will force a new round of special elections early next year.

After the November and December elections, Louisiana has one new state senator and two new state House members, and the House has another round of new vacancies created as lawmakers won jobs as judges and parish officials back home.

Republican Bob Hensgens, a nursing home administrator from Abbeville, won a special election shifting him from the House, where he’d been since 2011, to the Senate. He takes over the Senate seat vacated by Jonathan Perry, who moved to an appeals court judgeship. Hensgens will represent Vermilion Parish and parts of Acadia, Lafayette and St. Landry parishes.

In the House, Mary DuBuisson, a Slidell Republican, won Saturday’s election to fill the remaining term of Republican Greg Cromer, who resigned after winning election as Slidell’s mayor. DuBuisson is a former Cromer aide.

Elected to the House in November was Stuart Moss, a Republican and former Sulphur city councilman. He’ll take over the rest of the term of Mike Danahay, a Democrat elected mayor of Sulphur earlier this year.

Seven more House seats are open, after lawmakers staring down term limits were elected or took jobs elsewhere.

Besides Hensgens, Reps. Marcus Hunter of Monroe and Chris Hazel of Pineville won judgeships; Reps. Kenny Havard of West Feliciana Parish and Major Thibaut of Pointe Coupee Parish won parish president jobs; Rep. Jeff Hall was chosen as Alexandria’s newest mayor; and Rep. Rob Shadoin took a job at the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Voters will choose new lawmakers for those vacant seats in a Feb. 23 primary and, if needed, a March 30 runoff.

The statewide election for all legislative seats will be held in October 2019, so newly elected lawmakers will be on the ballot again next fall if they want to hang onto their seats.