The Latest: Louisiana GOP Rep. Mike Johnson wins second term

Published 11-07-2018

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Latest on Louisiana elections (all times local):

9:47 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson has defeated two opponents to retain his seat representing Louisiana's 4th Congressional District for a second term.

Johnson, a former state lawmaker from Benton, easily won Tuesday's open primary election to hang onto the northwest Louisiana-based seat.

He faced little competition from his opponents: Mark David Halverson, of Bossier City, who ran without party affiliation, and Ryan Trundle, a Democrat from Shreveport. Trundle couldn't compete on the fundraising circuit, and Halverson didn't report any money raised at all.

The 4th District is largely rural, stretching from the Arkansas line into southwest Louisiana, including the Shreveport area.

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9:28 p.m.

Despite multiple opponents, Republican U.S. Rep. Garret Graves won a third term representing Louisiana's 6th District in Congress without a runoff election.

Graves defeated three other candidates in Tuesday's open primary. The former congressional aide and former state coastal chief from Baton Rouge first won the seat in 2014.

Among Graves' opponents was Ju

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9:28 p.m.

Despite multiple opponents, Republican U.S. Rep. Garret Graves won a third term representing Louisiana's 6th District in Congress without a runoff election.

Graves defeated three other candidates in Tuesday's open primary. The former congressional aide and former state coastal chief from Baton Rouge first won the seat in 2014.

Among Graves' opponents was Justin DeWitt, a Baton Rouge Democrat who described himself as the first openly gay candidate to run for a Louisiana congressional seat.

Also on the ballot were Devin Lance Graham, an independent from Gonzales, and Andie Saizan, a Democrat from Springfield. Only DeWitt and Saizan reported fundraising, but Graves' multimillion-dollar campaign account dwarfed his competitors' donations.

The 6th District includes all or part of

Despite multiple opponents, Republican U.S. Rep. Garret Graves won a third term representing Louisiana's 6th District in Congress without a runoff election.

Graves defeated three other candidates in Tuesday's open primary. The former congressional aide and former state coastal chief from Baton Rouge first won the seat in 2014.

Among Graves' opponents was Justin DeWitt, a Baton Rouge Democrat who described himself as the first openly gay candidate to run for a Louisiana congressional seat.

Also on the ballot were Devin Lance Graham, an independent from Gonzales, and Andie Saizan, a Democrat from Springfield. Only DeWitt and Saizan reported fundraising, but Graves' multimillion-dollar campaign account dwarfed his competitors' donations.

The 6th District includes all or part of 13 parishes, around Baton Rouge and stretching southeast into Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.

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9:22 p.m.

Louisiana's property tax rules will be changing.

The state exempts the first $75,000 value of a home from property taxes. Under current laws, tax assessments are frozen for the elderly, disabled veterans and others. In addition, the state gives higher property tax breaks to homeowners who are surviving spouses of people in the military, state police, local law enforcement and firefighters who die in the line of duty.

Voters in Tuesday's election backed a constitutional change, listed as Amendment 5, that will extend the existing special property tax treatments to homes that are placed into a trust.

State lawmakers approved the proposal earlier this year, placing it on the ballot.

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9:12 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham has cruised to a third term as congressman for Louisiana's 5th District.

Though he had three opponents, Abraham easily won re-election in Tuesday's open primary for the seat representing northeast and central Louisiana.

Next, he'll face questions about whether he intends to challenge Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in the 2019 election. Abraham, a doctor from rural Richland Parish, has said he's eyeing the race.

In his re-election bid, Abraham defeated Billy Burkette, an independent from East Feliciana Parish; Jessee Fleenor, a Democrat from Tangipahoa Parish; and Kyle Randol, a Libertarian from Monroe. Only Fleenor reported campaign fundraising.

The largely rural 5th District contains all or part of 24 parishes, including parishes that run along the Mississippi state line.

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9:12 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond will return to Washington for a fifth term representing Louisiana's 2nd District in Congress.

Richmond, chairman of the influential Congressional Black Caucus, defeated three opponents without party affiliation in Tuesday's open primary election.

The lawmaker from New Orleans is the only Democrat and only African-American currently in Louisiana's congressional delegation. The majority-minority district he represents includes most of New Orleans, running up the Mississippi River into part of Baton Rouge.

Richmond, a former state legislator elected to Congress in 2010, was deemed so safe the Republican Party didn't field a candidate against him. His opponents did little to no fundraising for their campaigns.

The three competitors were Belden "Noonie Man" Batiste of New Orleans, Shawndra Rodriguez of Baton Rouge, and Jesse Schmidt of Gretna.

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9:05 p.m.

Convicted felons in Louisiana will have to wait five years after serving their sentences before they can run for office in the state.

Voters in Tuesday's election agreed to Amendment 1 enacting the new prohibition in Louisiana's constitution.

Louisiana had an amendment barring felons from seeking office for 15 years after serving their sentences. The state Supreme Court overturned the provision in 2016, saying voters approved a version differing from the one that lawmakers passed.

Lawmakers debated re-enacting the ban for several years without reaching an agreement. The five-year provision was a compromise that won final passage from the state House and Senate earlier this year, placing it on the ballot.

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8 p.m.

Polls have closed in Louisiana's election.

Top of the ballot is a special election for secretary of state, to fill the remaining year of the term of Republican Tom Schedler, who resigned in May amid a sexual harassment scandal.

Nine candidates are competing, including Schedler's top aide Republican Kyle Ardoin, who has been working as interim secretary of state.

Other Republicans vying for the job include Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Cloud, former Sen. A.G. Crowe, Rep. Rick Edmonds and Rep. Julie Stokes. Democrats include Renee Fontenot Free, a former first assistant to two secretaries of state, and lawyer Gwen Collins-Greenup.

The race is expected to head into a Dec. 8 runoff.

Louisiana's U.S. House seats also are up for grabs, with all six incumbent congressmen seeking re-election.

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6:30 p.m.

The chief elections official in Orleans Parish says turnout has been good and voting operations have been going smoothly.

Arthur Morrell says he hopes "something has shaken the voters and made them realize how important it is to vote."

However, Morrell says his office has encountered one problem. A new charter operator took over a school on Esplanade Avenue that has been a longtime polling place. The new school management decided not to allow voters to use a school yard behind the building to park.

That's made it especially difficult for handicapped voters. He says he's working to get the situation resolved.

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1:05 p.m.

Lots of voters in Louisiana did not get the "I Voted" stickers on Election Day.

The Advocate reports the secretary of state's office said in a Twitter message that "budgetary constraints" prevented the office from providing the stickers for Tuesday's voting.

Louisiana's 2016 "I Voted" stickers were an internet sensation, as they featured a George Rodrique blue dog and started selling on sites like eBay.

Some votes in Lafayette did receive the more traditional "I Voted" stickers, but many early voters did not.

After complaints showed up on social media, the secretary of state's office said local clerks of court were responsible for providing them. But the Baton Rouge clerk of court's office said the secretary of state's office was supposed to provide them.

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11:35 a.m.

No significant problems have been reported as voters cast their ballots in Louisiana.

The secretary of state's office reported only one polling location was affected because of the severe weather that moved across the state. The report says power was only out for about 15 minutes and the voting machines were not affected because of battery backups.

Polls did not open as scheduled at 6 a.m. Tuesday at a middle school in the town of Iowa in Calcasieu Parish. Clerk of Court Lynn Jones says there was a miscommunication about getting the doors unlocked at J.I. Watson Middle School.

Voters are taking part in a special election for secretary of state. There is also a proposed constitutional amendment to require a unanimous jury for all felony convictions.

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12:45 a.m.

Louisiana has one statewide position on the ballot - a special election to fill a secretary of state seat vacated because of a sexual harassment scandal.

Beyond filling that elections chief job, Louisiana voters Tuesday are deciding whether to return six U.S. House incumbents to Washington for another term and whether to rewrite six provisions in the state constitution.

Among the constitutional amendments are proposals that would require unanimous jury verdicts for all felony convictions in Louisiana and would make convicted felons in Louisiana wait five years after serving their sentences before they can run for office.

The packed primary competition for secretary of state and for Louisiana's other seats has lacked the attention-grabbing nature of state races around the country.

Runoff elections, as needed, will be Dec. 8.

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