The final state to hold its candidate filing deadline is now reporting its candidates for the fall, meaning the entire country has now set its political card. Louisiana has no Governor or Senate race this year, and none of the six House incumbents, all seeking re-election, appears to have drawn stiff competition for their November elections.
Louisiana is so late in scheduling its candidate filing deadline because their primary is also last on the political calendar. In previous years, Louisiana legislators developed a system that allowed a candidate to win a political office in the primary if a person secured majority support. Therefore, creating their jungle primary, or top-two system – now, in a modified manner, adopted in both California and Washington -- a candidate receiving majority support on election night is summarily elected. If no one gets to 50%, then the top two candidates advance to a run-off general election. After the Justice Department ruled that no longer could the state forego having a general election for all offices, the jungle primary was moved to the succeeding general election date. The run-offs, when necessary, now occur in December.
It is probable that all six incumbents: Reps. Steve Scalise (R-Jefferson/Mesquite), Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans), Clay Higgins (R-Lafayette), Mike Johnson (R-Benton/Shreveport), Ralph Abraham (R-Alto/Alexandria), and Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge) will all win outright on November 6th.
But, the 2018 general election may only be the precursor to a much bigger race coming in 2019. Then, US Senator John Kennedy (R), and possibly Rep. Abraham, may challenge Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) in what will be a major campaign with potential national implications.
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