|Part of the Politics series|
The so-called Louisiana primary is the common term for the Louisiana general election for local, state, and congressional offices.On election day, all candidates for the same office appear together on the ballot, often including several candidates from each major party. The candidate who receives a simple majority is elected. If no candidate wins a simple majority in the first round, there is a runoff one month later between the top two candidates to determine the winner. This system is also used for United States Senate special elections in Mississippi and Texas, and all special elections for partisan offices in Georgia. It is also used for municipal elections in Portland, Oregon, and Chicago, Illinois.
The Louisiana primary is similar to the nonpartisan blanket primary (or top two primary) currently used in Washington and California since in both models, all candidates regardless of party identification run against each other in the first round. However, the top two system does not elect a candidate in the first round, but merely advances the top two candidates to the general election. The timing of the two systems is also different. The first round in the Louisiana primary is held on or near election day in November and the runoff is about a month later, while the top two primary holds the second round on election day in November and holds the first round months earlier. The Louisiana primary is an example of the two-round system.
First Ballot, October 19, 1991
|Edwin Edwards||Democratic||523,096 (33.8%)||Runoff|
|David Duke||Republican||491,342 (31.7%)||Runoff|
|Buddy Roemer||Republican||410,690 (26.5%)||Defeated|
|Clyde Holloway||Republican||82,683 (5.3%)||Defeated|
|Sam Jones||Democratic||11,847 (0.8%)||Defeated|
|Ed Karst||No Party||9,663 (0.6%)||Defeated|
|Fred Dent||Democratic||7,835 (0.5%)||Defeated|
|Anne Thompson||Republican||4,118 (0.3%)||Defeated|
|Jim Crowley||Democratic||4,000 (0.3%)||Defeated|
|Albert Henderson Powell||Democratic||2,053 (0.1%)||Defeated|
|Ronnie Glynn Johnson||Democratic||1,372 (0.1%)||Defeated|
|Ken "Cousin Ken" Lewis||Democratic||1,006 (0.1%)||Defeated|
Second Ballot, November 16, 1991
|Edwin Edwards||Democratic||1,057,031 (61.2%)||Elected|
|David Duke||Republican||671,009 (38.8%)||Defeated|
Despite Republicans collectively attaining a majority of the support in the 1st ballot, the Democratic candidate Edwards won decisively on the second ballot. Edwin Edwards' win is most likely attributed to the fact that David Duke was a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and thus was unpalatable to mainstream voters, in spite of allegations of corruption during Edwards' first three terms. Evidence of this exists in the unofficial campaign slogan "Vote for the Lizard, not the Wizard," a bumper sticker cited by The Wall Street Journal "Vote for the crook, it's important,"and Roemer endorsing Edwards prior to the second round. Under this system, party label is self-identifying, which means that David Duke was able to declare himself a Republican candidate without the consent of the Republican Party. Duke's win in the first round may have been tactical voting (Democrats voting for Duke), which has been observed in some two-round electoral systems. Polls had shown that Roemer could have defeated either Edwards or Duke if he had made it to the second round.
The runoff sometimes includes two candidates of the same party, a phenomenon which frequently occurs. Historically, the Democratic Party was dominant in Louisiana from the late 19th through much of the 20th century, especially after the state legislature disenfranchised most blacks at the turn of the 20th century, weakening the Republican Party.
The only party labels originally permitted under the Louisiana law were Democratic, Republican, and No Party; however, as of 2008 [update] , candidates may take the identity of any "registered political party". The primary has been used in statewide elections since 1975. The system was designed by then-Governor Edwin Edwards after he had to run in two grueling rounds of the Democratic Primary in 1971 before facing a general election against a well-funded and well-rested Republican, Dave Treen. (Treen was elected governor under the new system in 1979, defeating five major Democratic candidates).
The nonpartisan blanket election was never used for presidential primaries in Louisiana because national party rules forbid it. It has been used for congressional elections from 1978 to the present, with a brief interruption in 2008 and 2010.
Starting in 1978, the Louisiana legislature changed the rules for conducting US House and Senate elections, changing them to the nonpartisan blanket primary format, with primaries in late September or early October, and general elections on the federal election day in November. Any candidate who received the required "50 per cent plus one vote" in the primary, or was unopposed in the primary, was declared elected and did not appear on the general election ballot.
The U.S. Supreme Court in Foster v. Love (1997) ruled that this system was in violation of federal law when used for congressional elections, since the federal law requires all members of Congress to be elected on the federal election day; thus, candidates who won in primaries earlier than the federal election day violated this law.
After the decision, Louisiana moved the congressional primary date to November and the run-off to December in order to keep the nonpartisan blanket format. The result was that any candidate who won a congressional race through a general election (run-off) lost seniority to those members elected in November on the national election day. Louisiana's freshmen members were assigned inferior office space because they were junior to members elected in November.
In May 2005, Louisiana passed a law moving the primary back to October, with provisions intended to follow federal law. In June 2006, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco signed Senate Bill No. 18 (later Act No. 560 ) into law, which took effect in 2008. It returned Congressional races to the closed primary system.
In 2010, the legislature voted to revert federal elections to the nonpartisan blanket primary system with the passage of House Bill 292, which was signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal on June 25, 2010.Since Louisiana's primary is virtually identical to the Washington state primary system, which was upheld by the US Supreme Court in Washington State Grange v. Washington State Republican Party (2008), it appears to satisfy constitutional concerns.
Edwin Washington Edwards is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who served as the U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 7th congressional district from 1965 to 1972 and as the 50th Governor of Louisiana for four terms, twice as many elected terms as any other Louisiana chief executive. He served a total of 16 years in office, the sixth-longest serving gubernatorial tenure in post-Constitutional U.S. history at 5,784 days.
Charles Elson "Buddy" Roemer III is an American politician, investor, and banker who served as the 52nd Governor of Louisiana from 1988 to 1992, and as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1988.
David Conner Treen Sr., was an American politician and attorney from Louisiana. A member of the Republican Party, Treen served as U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 3rd congressional district from 1973 to 1980 and Governor of Louisiana from 1980 to 1984. Treen was the first Republican elected to both offices since Reconstruction.
John Bennett Johnston Jr. is an American attorney and politician in the Democratic Party and later lobbyist. He represented Louisiana in the United States Senate from 1972 to 1997. He was re-elected to several terms.
Louis Elwood Jenkins Jr., known as Woody Jenkins, is a newspaper editor in Baton Rouge and Central City, Louisiana, who served as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1972 to 2000 and waged three unsuccessful races for the United States Senate in 1978, 1980, and 1996.
Richard Alvin "Rick" Tonry was a Democratic Party politician from New Orleans, Louisiana.
Clyde Cecil Holloway was an American politician, small business owner, and member of the Republican Party who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as one of five members of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. After seven years in office he did not seek reelection to the PSC in 2016.
A nonpartisan blanket primary is a primary election in which all candidates for the same elected office, regardless of respective political party, run against each other at once, instead of being segregated by political party. It is also known as a jungle primary. In most cases there are two winners who advance to the general election, in which case it is also called a top-two primary.
The 1995 Louisiana gubernatorial election was held on November 18, 1995 to elect the Governor of Louisiana.
The 1991 Louisiana gubernatorial election resulted in the election of Edwin Edwards to his fourth non-consecutive term as governor of Louisiana. The election received national and international attention due to the unexpectedly strong showing of David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, who had ties to other white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups.
The 1987 Louisiana gubernatorial election was held to elect the Governor of Louisiana. Incumbent Democratic Governor Edwin Edwards lost re-election to a second term, defeated by former Democratic Buddy Roemer.
The 1983 Louisiana gubernatorial election was held to elect the Governor of Louisiana. Incumbent Republican Governor Dave Treen lost re-election to a second term, defeated by former Democratic Edwin Edwards. Edwards became the first governor since Earl Long to win non-consecutive terms. He also became the first to serve three full terms.
The 1979 Louisiana gubernatorial election resulted in the election of David Treen as the first Republican governor of Louisiana since Reconstruction.
The 1975 Louisiana gubernatorial election resulted in the re-election of Edwin Edwards to his second term as governor of Louisiana. This was the last time that a Democrat was re-elected to a second consecutive term as governor of Louisiana until 2019, 44 years later, when John Bel Edwards won re-election.
Foster Lonnie Campbell Jr., is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party from the U.S. state of Louisiana. Since 2003, he has been a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. He served in the Louisiana State Senate from 1976 to 2002.
The Republican Party of Louisiana is the U.S. state of Louisiana's organization of the national Republican Party. The state chair is Louis Gurvich, a businessman from New Orleans, who was elected on February 24, 2018.
The 2011 Louisiana gubernatorial election was held on October 22 with 10 candidates competing in a nonpartisan blanket primary. Incumbent Republican Bobby Jindal was elected to a second term as governor of Louisiana. Since he received an outright majority of the vote in the blanket primary, a runoff election that would have occurred on November 19 was unnecessary. As of 2020, this is the most recent election in which a Republican was elected Governor of Louisiana, and the most recent in which a runoff was not required.
Anthony Joseph Guarisco Jr., sometimes known as Tony Guarisco, is a Democratic former member of the Louisiana State Senate from Morgan City in St. Mary Parish in south Louisiana. He represented Senate District 21 from 1976 to 1988, which included the parishes of St. Mary, Assumption, Terrebonne, and St. Martin, two precincts only.
The 1990 United States Senate election in Louisiana was held on November 6, 1990. In a nonpartisan blanket primary, incumbent Democrat J. Bennett Johnston won re-election to a fourth term, avoiding a runoff by receiving 54% of the vote. Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke placed second, as the leading Republican challenger.
Robert Max Ross was a Republican activist and a candidate for numerous statewide and local offices who resided in Mangham in northeastern Louisiana. He was among the earliest advocates for the Republican political movement at a time when no GOP candidate had been elected statewide in more than a century. He ran as one of two candidates in the Republican primaries for governor in 1972 and Louisiana's 5th congressional district seat in 1974. After Louisiana adopted the jungle primary system, Ross qualified again for governor in 1983 and also the United States Senate in 1984. He additionally ran for the Louisiana State Senate as well as mayor of Mangham during other election years.