Can Republicans Hold House?
State Rep. Walt Leger (D-New Orleans) is running for Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, a task which would be thought impossible in most states, since the Republicans have a 61-44 majority in the new House,which will be sworn in Jan. 11.
But Leger, a liberal Democrat, now has the public support of Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards, the current Democratic leader in the House, and Leger is busy trying to peel votes away from the Republicans. If he can unite the 42 Democrats and two Independents with nine Republicans, Leger will have a majority.
Leger’s Republican opponent is State Rep. Cameron Henry, a conservative from Jefferson Parish. Henry, a former aide to Steve Scalise, the Majority Whip in Congress, broke with the Jindal Adminstration over Jindal’s use of one-time money in the state budget. As a result of his criticism, he was removed as Vice Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. At the time, he said Jindal just wanted “yes men” on important committees.
Just as Leger is working to get Republicans to switch over and support him, Henry is working to hold Republicans and get Democrats and Independents to support his candidacy.
The outcome will be decided when the new legislature meets in January or possibly before, if either candidate drops out of the race.