Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 86

District Map

House District 86

Voting History


2008 President
  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 42729 (68%) 40159 (71%)
Barack Obama (D) 18909 (30%) 15367 (27%)
Others 1090 (2%) 784  (2%)


2008 Senate
  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 27013 (44%) 21688 (39%)
John Kennedy (R) 33215 (54%) 32719 (59%)
Others 1377 (2%) 1098 (2%)


2010 Senate
  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 29296 (68%) 26553 (68%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 12015 (28%) 10360 (27%)
Others 1859 (4%) 2088 (5%)


2010 Lt Governor
  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 13131 (30%) 11171 (29%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 29926 (70%) 27802 (71%)

Current District

District 86 was a compact district split equally between the eastern Algiers section of New Orleans and the Terrytown area on the Westbank of Jefferson Parish. Though historically the district had a Republican edge, that edge has steadily eroded, as the black voting percentage increased from 29 to 40% over the past decade. This demographic change has resulted in steadily increasing Democratic voting percentages in the district. A district that once produced Republican majorities not only voted for Barack Obama (one of three GOP held state House seats to do so), but voted Democratic across the board in the 2010 midterm elections.

However, the Democratic trend had not yet registered in the district’s House representation. It has elected Republicans since 1980: Terry Gee, Steve Windhorst (who defeated Gee in 1991), and Jim Tucker (who succeeded Windhorst in 2001 upon his election to a judgeship in Jefferson Parish). Furthermore, this local Republican dominance has never been challenged: the only contested races in the district in recent memory (in 1991 and 2001) were among Republicans. Once in the 1991 primary, a Democrat ran, but she only received 18% of the vote.

Representative Tucker is term limited this year, and in his final term he was the Speaker of the House. It will be interesting to see what (if any) office he will seek this fall, since he lives in a majority black state senate district held by a Democratic incumbent that was left untouched during reapportionment.

Proposed District

Population losses in Orleans and Jefferson Parish made redistricting a tricky proposition for the area: the district ended up having 6% less population than needed for a state representative district. Furthermore, the Democratic trend in this district (and a neighboring Republican held district in Gretna, for that matter) would have given them a rare chance at a pickup of a Republican held seat. In the end, the House reapportionment plan which was passed eliminated the district. The Algiers precincts were parceled out both to Democrat Jeff Arnold and Independent Ernest Wooton’s districts. The Tarrytown precincts were given to Gretna Republican Ricky Templet.

The new district has been relocated to the middle section of Tangipahoa Parish. Though it is shaped like a “U”, it can simply be described as the area between Hammond and Amite, except for a string of black majority precincts along Highway 51. Its black voter registration is a modest 15%, which practically guarantees that a Republican will be elected, since in recent elections, it has given at least 70% of the vote to Republican candidates at the top of the ballot. In fact, its political complexion is identical to a neighboring district in southern Tangipahoa that has voted for Republican House candidates since 1995.