News Guide: Senate, House races dominate election
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Highlights of Tuesday's primary election in Louisiana. Runoffs will be Dec. 6.
TOP OF THE TICKET
Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican Bill Cassidy will meet in a Dec. 6 runoff. Tea party favorite Rob Maness, a Republican and political newcomer, placed third in the large field. Other candidates included Democrats Wayne Ables, Vallian Senegal and William Waymire Jr., Republican Thomas Clements and Libertarian Brandon Lee McMorris. Landrieu and Cassidy, a congressman who gave up his seat to run for Senate, battled in a series of attack ads largely centered on national policy matters. Cassidy now faces the task of attracting Maness voters to his side for the runoff.
IN THE HOUSE
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise easily won re-election against three opponents in a district centered in the New Orleans suburbs. In his campaign for a fourth term, Scalise faced Democrats Lee Dugas and Vinny Mendoza as well as Libertarian Jeffry Sanford. Scalise won the seat in 2008 when his predecessor, Bobby Jindal, became Louisiana's governor.
Incumbent Cedric Richmond, the only Democrat and only African-American in Louisiana's congressional delegation, was re-elected to a third term in a campaign against four challengers. His district stretches from New Orleans northwest toward Baton Rouge. The challengers were Democrats Rufus Johnson and Gary Landrieu, Libertarian Samuel Davenport and independent David Brooks. No Republican entered the race.
Incumbent Republican Charles Boustany won a sixth term in his southwest Louisiana district. He faced a fellow Republican, Bryan Barrilleaux, and independent Russell Richard. Neither of Boustany's opponents campaigned aggressively.
In this northwest Louisiana district, incumbent Republican John Fleming was re-elected to a fourth term in the House. The doctor and businessman faced Democrat Justin Ansley and Libertarian Randall Lord. Neither of Fleming's opponents mounted an aggressive fundraising or advertising campaign.
In one of Tuesday's top races, incumbent Republican Rep. Vance McAllister lost his bid for re-election. Democrat Jamie Mayo — the mayor of Monroe — advanced to the Dec. 6 runoff to face Republican Ralph Abraham. Other candidates included "Duck Dynasty" relative Zach Dasher, a Republican making his first run for office. McAllister had tried to overcome a cheating scandal that was leaked earlier this year. Republicans Harris Brown, Clyde Holloway and Ed Tarpley; Libertarian Charles Saucier and Eliot Barron of the Green Party also were in the race.
Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, a Democrat, earned a runoff spot against Republican Garret Graves in a crowded field of candidates in the Baton Rouge area district. Edwards is seeking a political comeback after serving 8 years in a federal prison on corruption charges. The district seat was vacated by Republican Bill Cassidy, who campaigned for Senate. Candidates included Democrats Richard Lieberman and Peter Williams, Libertarian Rufus Craig Jr. and seven Republicans: Garret Graves, Robert Bell, Dan Claitor, Paul Dietzel, Craig McCulloch, Trey Thomas and Lenar Whitney.
There were 14 on the ballot. Voting on some propositions was too close to call.
—Amendment 1: Approved. Sets a minimum level for Medicaid patient reimbursements paid to nursing homes, pharmacies and institutions for the developmentally disabled. Cuts to payments face restrictions so they could be no worse than for other health care providers, and require the support of two-thirds of lawmakers.
—Amendment 2: Rejected. Would have allowed hospitals to pool their money and use those dollars to draw down new federal Medicaid money to compensate them for their care for the poor and uninsured. It involves a new fee assessed on the facilities, similar to what is paid by nursing homes. Lawmakers must approve the fee structure before it can begin. In exchange, cuts to hospital payments are limited and require a two-thirds vote of lawmakers.
—Amendment 3: Rejected. Would have let local government hire private contractors to help them collect delinquent property taxes and sell property whose owners haven't paid their property taxes.
—Amendment 4: Rejected. Would have allowed the state treasurer to invest public dollars into a Louisiana Transportation Infrastructure Bank that hasn't yet been created by lawmakers but could have been used to finance road repairs and improvements.
—Amendment 5: Approved. Removes a requirement that forces Louisiana's judges to retire after reaching age 70 and finishing their current terms.
—Amendment 6: Approved. Raises a cap on the millage New Orleans can charge on property values to generate tax revenue for fire and police protection. The City Council would be able to levy additional mills only with additional local voter approval.
—Amendment 7: Approved. Tweaks language allowing veterans with certain service-related disabilities to get a higher homestead exemption than other property owners, to make more disabled veterans eligible.
—Amendment 8: Rejected. Would have spelled out in the constitution that millions of dollars in donations that oil companies make for artificial reefs, into the Artificial Reef Development Fund, can't be used for other purposes, like plugging budget holes.
—Amendment 9: Approved. Excludes permanently disabled homeowners from a requirement to certify their income annually to keep a special property tax rate.
—Amendment 10: Rejected. Would have shortened the redemption period for blighted or abandoned property sold at a tax sale to 18 months, instead of three years. That period is when the previous owners can pay to regain ownership of the property.
—Amendment 11: Rejected. Would have created the cabinet-level Department of Elderly Affairs, overseeing services for Louisiana's older residents.
—Amendment 12: Rejected. Would have required that two members of the state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission be residents of parishes in north Louisiana.
—Amendment 13: Rejected. Would have allowed the government to sell storm-damaged property in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward for below-market rates.
—Amendment 14: Rejected. Would have limited when tax rebates can be considered by lawmakers to the same odd-numbered years as when tax exemptions, credits and other tax break programs can be debated.