Barry Ivey Elected to Louisiana House

Barry Ivey Elected to Louisiana House

Businessman, 33, Upsets Popular Councilman 53-47

CENTRAL — Republican Barry Ivey swept to an upset victory Saturday in a special election to fill a vacancy in the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 65.
Ivey, a 33-year-old business owner, defeated Metro Councilman Scott Wilson by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent.  He will replace Rep. Clif Richardson (R-Central), who resigned for health reasons.
Ivey received 2,202 votes to Wilson’s 1,953 and carried all but three precincts in the district.  He won majorities in both parts of the district — Central and Southeast Baton Rouge.
Ivey is a graduate of Central High and earned a B.A. in finance from LSU.  He is the president and CEO of Pinnacle Precision Services, LLC, which works in nuclear power plants across the country.
He has four children and is active in Victory Harvest.
During the campaign, both candidates took a strong conservative stand on the issues.
More than 50 Ivey supporters gathered to watch the returns at TJ Ribs Saturday evening.  After learning the results, Ivey told supporters that he was humbled to have the opportunity to represent the district and very grateful for all those who supported his candidacy.
On Wednesday, Ivey said he had received more than 100 congratulatory calls from supporters, legislators, lobbyists, and others.   They included Gov. Bobby Jindal, U.S. Sen. David Vitter, Congressman Bill Cassidy, Sen. Bodi White, and State Rep. Valarie Hodges.
Ivey said, “I want to make a difference for our state and our community.  I am so thankful to everyone for their prayers and support.  Please keep praying for me and please continue to give me your support.”
The new state representative-elect met with House Speaker Chuck Kleckly Wednesday and several members of the House staff.  He will be sworn into office soon and will have an additional ceremonial swearing in on the first day of the legislative session.
Ivey said he took a look at a list of openings on House committees and will make a formal request for committee assignments soon.
Ivey said Wednesday that he is nearing a decision on a site for a legislative office and on hiring a legislative assistant.
In an interview Wednesday, political consultant John Couvillion, who worked for Scott Wilson in the race, gave his analysis of the election.  Couvillion said:
“The two most important things about this election were that it was 1) a special election 2) between two Republicans with similar philosophies.”
“This virtually guaranteed a low turnout election.  In these circumstances, Democrats and independents are much less likely to vote.  So frequent-voting Republicans were the ones who would decide the election.”
“There was also a geographic component, because the district is divided by the Comite River.  The majority of the district is in Central, but a significant portion of the district is south of the Comite in southeast Baton Rouge.”
“Barry Ivey ran a well-funded campaign and made good use of mail to reach voters.  He ran a very aggressive campaign and had a strong grassroots effort.”
“Our candidate, Scott Wilson, was popular in the district but he was hampered by a surprising thing — the fact that he was unopposed for reelection to the Metro Council last fall.  As a result of that, he had not been on the ballot in almost five years.  In that situation, your name recognition naturally drops.”
“In the election itself, while the two candidates had similar philosophies, they positioned themselves differently.  Ivey decided to run on popular conservative issues.  Wilson decided to run based on his experience on the Metro Council.  It was issues vs. experience.”
“Ivey split Central and carried southeast Baton Rouge by a larger margin.  Ivey succeeded in connecting with the Republican voters who showed up on election day.”

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