This Year in Louisiana Politics: What to watch in 2021


BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Louisiana lawmakers enter 2021 with a laundry list of plans. Some want new jobs, while some have new resolutions altogether.

Step one: Fill not one, but two of the state’s six U.S. House seats. Democrat Cedric Richmond is trading Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District for the Biden White House; Republican Luke Letlow’s COVID-related death last week leaves Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District vacant.

For Richmond’s seat, activist Gary Chambers became the latest hopeful to join the fray Monday. The Baton Rouge Democrat joins state Sens. Karen Carter Peterson and Troy Carter in that race.

No candidates have emerged yet for Letlow’s seat, though that will certainly change within weeks.

Qualifying for the Mar. 20 special congressional races will run from Jan. 20 to Jan. 22. April runoffs are possible, should a candidate fail to win a majority of the March vote.

The State Capitol has its own ground to cover this year. Legislators will start a three-month regular session Apr. 12. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Republican-led Legislature could find themselves clashing over virus mitigation measures, vaccine distribution phases, a long-stuck gas tax and census-based redistricting. The session must end no later than Jun. 10.

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