Redistricting Proposal Threatens Two Louisiana Representatives
Despite the Senate approving a new Congressional map that maintains the status quo of one minority-majority district, lawmakers who support creating a second majority-minority district are continuing their fight.
One of those lawmakers has proposed a new Congressional map that would pit two North Louisiana lawmakers against each other if the map becomes law.
Senator Gregory Tarver (D-Shreveport) filed the bill on Tuesday. His proposal features significant boundary shifts for each of the state's congressional districts.
Districts 1 and 6 would shift northward, losing Terrebonne and parts of Lafourche Parish. District 6 would gain all of West Feliciana Parish, the parts of East Feliciana and St. Helena Parish currently in the Fourth District, and a sliver of Tangipahoa Parish currently in the First District. Meanwhile. The First Congressional District would pick up Washington Parish and most of Tangipahoa Parish from LA-4 while keeping part the northern part of Lafourche Parish. The Third Congressional District would lose most of Calcasieu Parish, except for the Gillis and Vinton areas, while picking up all of Terrebonne Parish and most of Lafourche Parish.
The biggest changes comes in Districts 4 and 5.
LA-4 would now be centered around Alexandria and Rapides Parish, marking the first time that area was the heart of a congressional district since 1993, when the Eighth Congressional District became defunct. That area would include the majority of Rapides Parish, the majority of Calcasieu Parish (including Lake Charles), and all of St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes. It would also include the cities of Ruston and West Monroe.
LA-5 would becomes the state's second minority-majority district. The district would stretch from Concordia Parish up the Mississippi River to the Arkansas State Line before moving westward to the Texas State Line and back southeastward through Rapides Parish. This district would include the cities of Shreveport, Bossier City, Grambling, Monroe, Alexandria, Pineville, and Ferriday. While the district would be minority-majority, the white population would maintain a plurality of the vote--about 48 percent. However, the combined populations of people identifying as Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, and "Other" of the proposed district makes up the remaining 52 percent of the population.
This proposed minority-majority district would endanger the congressional careers of Representatives Mike Johnson (R-Minden) and Julia Letlow (R-Start). Johnson's home parish of Bossier would be moved into LA-5. that would put him in a head-to-head contest with Letlow in this November's midterm election. Johnson, who represents LA-4, is in his third term in Congress. Letlow, the LA-5 representative, is in her first term on Capitol Hill.
Meanwhile, the eastward shift of the Third Congressional District could give rise to the first congressman to come from the Bayou Parishes since Charlie Melancon held the Third District Seat more than a decade ago. So far, no challengers have said they will run against Rep. Clay Higgins (R-Lafayette) this fall.