The 2024 election may be dominating national attention, but some ongoing state elections could significantly impact the political landscape across the nation. Louisiana is one such state where all eyes are on the gubernatorial race. After the state's jungle primary this weekend, it appears that Attorney General Jeff Landry will likely head into the runoff. He is expected to face the sole Democrat in the race, former Director of the state's Department of Transportation and Development, Shawn Wilson.
However, there's another race in Louisiana that, although less publicized, should not be underestimated—the election for the Secretary of State's office, responsible for overseeing the state's election processes. With the incumbent not seeking re-election, the position is up for grabs, and multiple candidates are vying for the role. The concern here lies in the division among Republicans about whom to support.
Louisiana Early Voting Update 10.11.2023
We're now just three short days away from the LA election. Almost 6,500 mail ballots came in yesterday, giving the Democrats another raw vote gain of 1,172 votes. (D+18 margin).
— Michael Pruser (@MichaelPruser) October 11, 2023
This Republican divide could pose a problem, especially considering that Democrats have largely thrown their support behind Gwen Collins-Greenup, who has previously run for this office and has kept the race competitive. Among the Republican contenders, Nancy Landry, currently working in the Secretary of State's office, is expected to continue the practices that have ensured secure elections and is a dedicated conservative. Mike Francis, who has served on the Public Service Commission, also offers a solid option for Republicans. Interestingly, despite having personal funds to finance his campaign, Francis appears to have chosen not to do so, causing frustration among some of his supporters. Another Republican candidate worth watching is Brandon Trosclair, a staunch reformer advocating for a return to paper ballots. However, demonstrations of paper ballots in Louisiana have raised concerns about their complexity and time-consuming nature compared to the current secure voting machines.
If Republicans remain divided and unwavering in their support of a single candidate, it could provide an advantage for the Democrats. Democrats would welcome the chance to control the state's election processes, potentially shifting the balance in their favor. This should be a substantial concern for Louisiana voters, particularly given the state's deep conservative values and past experience with two terms of a Democratic governor due to weak Republican candidates.
Republicans must unite and prioritize not only the gubernatorial race but also down-ballot races. Each race holds significance and should not be disregarded.