Democrats push to resume open primary system

Democratic Party officials in the state have pushed for a return to the open primary system, although more sparingly and usually in regard to only federal elections.

Fabio Franchino and Francesco Zucchini, upon publishing their related studies in Political Science Research and Methods journal, noted that two major U.S. parties were best described as “loose organizations that let their politicians enjoy substantial autonomy.”

They also reasoned — in an explanation that was fashioned to fit Washington’s framework more than Baton Rouge’s — that “the executive does not need the support of a majority party in the legislature to survive and thus does not need to discipline legislators.”

There were 48 members of the Louisiana Legislature elected without opposition following the qualifying period, including 37 in the House and 11 in the Senate.

There are 144 seats in the Legislature.

The newest members of the Senate next term will be Sens.-elect Katrina Jackson of Monroe and Jimmy Harris of New Orleans. Both Democrats are well-known transplants from the House, with Jackson representing north Louisiana and Harris calling the southeast home.

Their early elections could be a positive sign for legislative members looking to switch chambers.

The newest House members for next term, due to a lack of opposition, meanwhile, will be attorney Thomas Pressly in House District 6, in the Shreveport-Bossier region, and Michael Echols in House District 14, which is anchored by the Monroe-Bastrop area.

Technically a freshman but also a former member of the lower chamber, Sen. Francis Thompson will join them in returning to his old House seat in District 19, in the Delhi area.


About Jeremy Alford 227 Articles
Jeremy Alford is an independent journalist and the co-author of LONG SHOT, which recounts Louisiana's 2015 race for governor. His bylines appear regularly in The New York Times and he has served as an on-camera analyst for CNN, FOX News, MSNBC and C-SPAN.

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