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Tuesday, 10 January 2017 13:40
Term limits impacts Louisiana treasurer's race; 3 new Louisiana congressional delegation members
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lou gehrig burnettLou Gehrig Burnett
The Treasurer’s race

    It’s been quite a while since the state Treasurer's  job has been on the election block.  John Kennedy has owned the position since he won the seat in 1999, defeating incumbent Ken Duncan, 56-44%.
    He was unopposed or received minor opposition in subsequent elections.  His election to the U.S. Senate created the opening to the statewide office.

    There will likely be a long list of contenders for the post in the election to be held on October 14.  There are a minimum of six lawmakers thinking about running for state treasurer.
    They are Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Mandeville; Sen. Eric LaFleur, D-Ville Platte; Speaker Pro Tem Walt Ledger, D-New Orleans; Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia; Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington; and Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Metairie.
    What is causing some legislators to take a look at the state treasurer’s job is the fact that they will be term-limited after this term, which ends in 2019.  More than a third of legislators now serving will make their exit.
    In the House, 36 representatives out of the 105-member body will be term-limited, as wiill 16 out of 39 senators.
    Of course, some House members will run for a Senate seat to continue their service in the state Legislature.  A few will term-limited senators will opt to run for the House.

Independent Party for LA?
    For the longest time in Louisiana, there has been no such thing as an “independent” candidate or voter.  One was either “Other Party” or “No Party.”  The Independent Party did not exist.
    But that is changing.  In 2014, former state Sen. Rick Gallot passed a law that removed a prohibition against an “Independent Party” being established.  Among the requirements was that it has at least 1,000 voters registered with the party.
    Over the holidays, a new political party was quietly established in the state and its being touted as part of a new “independent-minded” movement.
    The paperwork for the new party – the Louisiana Independent Party – was filed by Pat Bergeron, a longtime political consultant, on Dec. 22.  According to the Secretary of State’s office, it is now a recognized party.
    Also a key player in the movement is Bill Bryan, who has extensive election law experience from his time in the attorney general’s office.
    Bergeron and Bryan are hoping that the new party will grow and that its first candidates may be on the ballot this fall.
    Changes in party affiliation can be made by going to at any time.
New members sworn in
    Louisiana’s three new members of Congress were sworn into office of the 115th Congress on January 3 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
    John Kennedy took the oath as the state’s new senator – one of seven new senators elected in 2016.
    And Mike Johnson of Bossier City and Clay Higgins of Lafayette were sworn in as new members of the House – two of the 55 new members elected in  2016.
    All three are Republicans and will be members of the majority party in both the Senate and the House. 
    In the Senate, there are 52 Republicans and 46 Democrats, plus two members who caucus with them. There are 21 women and three black members.
    In the House, there are 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats.  There are 83 women and 46 blacks.
    Also sworn in was U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
    Kennedy scored some major committees.  He was appointed to serve on Appropriations, Banking, Budget, Judiciary, and Small Business.

Last modified on Tuesday, 10 January 2017 14:10
Lou Gehrig Burnett

Lou Gehrig Burnett is the publisher of Fax-Net, a North-Louisiana newsletter.

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