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Democratic State Senator Troy Carter wins open Louisiana U.S. House seat

Carter defeats fellow State Senator Karen Carter-Peterson in 2nd District runoff

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

NEW ORLEANS (CFP) — The Democratic establishment has claimed another victory in its ongoing battle with progressive insurgents, with Louisiana State Senator Troy Carter winning an intra-party runoff Saturday to claim the 2nd U.S. House District seat.

U.S. Rep.-elect Troy Carter, D-Louisiana

Carter won 55 percent of the vote to 45 percent for State Senator Karen Carter-Peterson. He  will replace Cedric Richmond, who resigned to take a job as the White House public engagement director in the Biden administration.

“We’ve had a long, hard-fought campaign, and God has blessed us with a victory,” Carter said in a victory address to supporters after the vote. “Your voice was heard at the ballot box, and now I want to go to Washington to be your voice.”

Carter, who led in the first round of voting in April, was endorsed by Richmond and also had support from much of the Democratic establishment and major unions.

Carter-Peterson had support from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and from liberal grassroots group such as Democracy for America and Our Revolution, a group spun out of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Carter-Peterson was trying to become the first black woman ever elected to Congress from the Pelican State.

The majority black 2nd District includes most of New Orleans and part of Baton Rouge, along with the River Parishes between the two cities.

Carter-Peterson carried the parts of the district in and around Baton Rouge, but Carter beat her in the two largest parishes, Orleans and Jefferson.

His win will expand the Democratic majority in the House from two to three seats, with three Democratic-leaning seats also vacant in Florida, New Mexico and Ohio. Two Republican-held seats are open in Texas and Ohio.

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Runoff Saturday for open Louisiana U.S. House seat

Democratic State Senators Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson vying in 2nd District race

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

NEW ORLEANS (CFP) — Voters in Louisiana’s 2nd U.S. House District will go to the polls Saturday to decide which of two Democratic state senators from New Orleans will be their next representative in Congress.

State Senators Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson are competing in a runoff to replace Cedric Richmond, who resigned to take a job as the White House public engagement director in the Biden administration.

Polls for in-person voting open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Saturday.

State Senators Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson

Carter, who has support from much of the Democratic establishment and major unions, led in the first round of voting in April, ahead of Carter-Peterson, who has support from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and from liberal grassroots group such as Democracy for America and Our Revolution, a group spun out of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Should she prevail on Saturday, Carter-Peterson would be the first black woman ever elected to Congress from the Pelican State.

The majority black 2nd District includes most of New Orleans and part of Baton Rouge, along with the River Parishes between the two cities.

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Republican Julia Letlow wins race for Louisiana U.S. House District 5; District 2 race heads to runoff

2 New Orleans Democratic state senators, Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson, will meet in runoff

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com

NEW ORLEANS (CFP) — Republican Julia Letlow has won a special election for Louisiana’s 5th District U.S. House seat less than three months after her husband, Luke, died of COVID-19 complications before he could be sworn into the post.

In another special election Saturday in the 2nd District, Democratic state senators Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson advanced to an April 24 runoff in a contest to replace Cedric Richmond, who resigned to take a job as the White House public engagement director in the Biden administration.

U.S. Rep.-Elect Julia Letlow, R-Louisiana

In the 5th District race, Letlow, 40, a former external affairs official at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, took 65% of the vote, besting 11 other candidates in the all-party race.

Coming in second place at 27% was the lone Democrat in the contest, Candy Christophe, a businesswoman and social worker from Alexandria.

Letlow’s husband, Luke, won the seat in November but died December 29 from COVID complications, days before he was scheduled to be sworn into Congress.

She will be just the third woman to represent a Louisiana district in the House, ending a 30-year drought of female representation.

The 5th District includes parts of 24 parishes in the state’s northeast corner and along the Mississippi border.

In the 2nd District — which includes most of New Orleans and part of Baton Rouge, along with the River Parishes between — Carter and Carter-Peterson led a field of 15 candidates, with Carter finishing first with 36% and Carter-Peterson with 23%.

However, the third-place finisher,Democrat Gary Chambers, a community activist from Baton Rouge, was just 1,500 votes behind Carter-Peterson.

Carter had support from much of the Democratic establishment and major unions, while Carter-Peterson drew support from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and from liberal grassroots group such as Democracy for America and Our Revolution, a group spun out of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign.

But Chambers was competing for those same voters and came in ahead of Carter-Peterson in Orleans Parish, the largest in the district.

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Louisiana voters will decide 2 U.S. House special elections Saturday

Replacements will be picked in the 2nd District centered in New Orleans and the 5th District in Northeast Louisiana

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com

NEW ORLEANS (CFP) — Voters in two Louisiana U.S. House districts will begin the process of picking new members of Congress Saturday, choosing from among crowded fields in both races.

In the 2nd District, centered in New Orleans, 15 candidates are running in an all-party contest to replace Democrat Cedric Richmond, who resigned to take a job as the White House public engagement director in the Biden administration.

In the 5th District, in northeast Louisiana, 12 candidates are running to replace Republican Luke Letlow, who was elected to the seat in November but died from COVID-19 in December before he could take office.

Polls for in-person voting will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Clockwise from top left: Letlow, Carter, Carter-Peterson, Chambers

Letlow’s widow, Julia Letlow, a former official at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, is the clear front-runner in the race to replace him. But she will have to win a majority on Saturday to avoid a runoff on April 24.

The 2nd District race, crowded with prominent political names, is likely headed to a runoff. The front-runners include two state senators from New Orleans, Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson, and Gary Chambers, a community activist from Baton Rouge.

Carter has support form much of the Democratic establishment and major unions, while Carter-Peterson has been drawn support from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and from liberal grassroots group such as Democracy for America and Our Revolution, a group spun out of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Chambers has been competing with Cater-Peterson for votes on the activist left, despite her organizational support.

While the runoff is likely to be among Democrats ,given the partisan lean of the district, Republican support has coalesced behind Claston Bernard, an Olympic decathlete originally from Jamaica and former track star at LSU, who is making his first bid for political office.

The 2nd District includes most of New Orleans and part of Baton Rouge, along with the River Parishes between. The 5th District includes parts of 25 parishes in the state’s northeast corner and along the Mississippi border.

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Southern Republican U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, Richard Burr vote to convict Donald Trump

All 5 Southern Democrats join unsuccessful effort to convict and disqualify Trump from future office

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

WASHINGTON (CFP) — U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Richard Burr of North Carolina broke with most of their Republican colleagues to vote to convict former president Donald Trump Saturday on charges of inciting the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and Richard Burr

Cassidy and Burr were the only Southern Republicans to vote for conviction in Trump’s impeachment trial; all five Southern Democrats voted to convict, including U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a state Trump carried by nearly 40 points in November.

While a majority of 57 senators voted to convict Trump, the number was not enough to clear the two-thirds majority required for conviction under the Constitution.

“Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person,” Cassidy said in a statement. “I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”

In his own statement, Burr said, “I do not make this decision lightly, but I believe it is necessary.”

“By what he did and by what he did not do, President Trump violated his oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,” Burr said.

Cassidy was elected in November to a six-year term and won’t face voters again until 2026. Burr has announced he isn’t seeking re-election in 2022 and will retire from the Senate at the end of his current term.

Machin, in a statement, said he voted to convict Trump “to hold him accountable for his seditious actions and words that threatened our democracy.”

“It is time to move forward as one nation to focus on helping Americans suffering from the pandemic,” Manchin said. “Now more than ever, it is on each of us to seek unity over division and put partisanship aside for the good of our country.”

Twenty-one Southern Republicans voted to acquit Trump, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who had denounced Trump’s claim of election fraud on the Senate floor less than an hour before a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on January 6.

However, in remarks after the vote, McConnell delivered an extensive and passionate rebuke of Trump in which he excoriated his behavior as a “disgraceful dereliction of duty,” said he bears direct responsibility for the assault on the Capitol, and suggested that he could face criminal prosecution.

But McConnell said the Constitution prevented the Senate from convicting Trump of impeachment now that he’s left office.

“We have no power to convict and disqualify a former officeholder who is now a private citizen,” McConnell said. “Impeachment was never meant to be the final forum for American justice. Impeachment, conviction and removal are a specific intra-governmental safety valve.”

Also voting to acquit was U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, whose phone call from Trump during the siege of the Capitol became a focus of the impeachment case brought by House managers.

Tuberville told reporters that he had informed Trump that Vice President Mike Pence had been evacuated from the Capitol, contradicting statements from Trump’s defense attorneys that he did not know of the peril in which Pence had been placed by the pro-Trump mob.

The Southern senators who joined Cassidy, Burr and Machin in voting to convict included Georgia’s two new Democratic members, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and two Democrats from Virginia, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.

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