Special elections set to fill Louisiana congressional seats

Louisiana

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks to reporters at a briefing on the state’s efforts against the coronavirus pandemic in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, May 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards has officially called a March 20 special election for Louisiana voters to select two new members of the U.S. House, with an April 24 runoff if needed.

The Democratic governor announced Wednesday that he had signed the proclamations setting the special congressional elections. He used dates already planned for municipal elections.

The 2nd District seat centered in New Orleans and running up the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge is open because Democrat Cedric Richmond, of New Orleans, is leaving the job to work for President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

The 5th District seat representing a largely rural area across northeast and central Louisiana, including Monroe and Alexandria, is vacant because newly-elected Republican Luke Letlow, of Richland Parish, died of complications from COVID-19 before he could even be sworn into Congress.

Candidates can sign up for the races during a Jan. 20 through Jan. 22 qualifying period. If no candidate tops 50% of the vote in each March election, the April runoff will be held.

Louisiana also will have a special election using those same March and April dates for an open seat on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education representing Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Vernon, Webster and Winn parishes.

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