Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 96

District Map



House District 96


Voting History


2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 875 (7%) 6184 (35%)
Barack Obama (D) 10779 (91%) 11299 (64%)
Others 143 (1%) 212 (1%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 10613 (93%) 11662 (70%)
John Kennedy (R) 617 (5%) 4678 (28%)
Others 204 (2%) 282 (2%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 574 (8%) 3797 (36%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 6469 (87%)  6131 (58%)
Others 385 (5%) 590 (6%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 835 (11%) 3836 (37%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 6605 (89%) 6583 (63%)

Current District 

House District 96 was a district contained within the city of New Orleans. It originated on the east side of City Park/Bayou St. John and traveled down Elysian Fields all the way to the Mississippi River, where it included portions of Marigny and the French Quarter. It is a solidly (70%, which is actually a significant decrease from 77% in 2003) black district by voter registration, with white enclaves in the French Quarter, Marigny, and an area at the southeastern corner of City Park.

The solid African-American majority provided a secure electoral base for Democrats, as did the white liberals residing in Marigny, the French Quarter, and the area near City Park. Generally, Republicans could only hope to get 10% of the vote in contested statewide elections, although in Bobby Jindal’s two runs for governor, he got about 17% of the vote both times by making inroads in the white and black neighborhoods.

The district’s legislative representation has been fairly steady, as African-American Democrat Ed Murray represented the district from 1992 to 2005. He was generally re-elected with substantial margins, although he was held to 57% of the vote in the 2003 primary. He resigned in 2005 after he was elected to an open state Senate seat. African-American Democratic attorney Juan LaFonta was elected in the runoff with 57% of the vote. An interesting side note about the 2005 race was the candidacy of Christopher Daigle, who attempted to be the first gay, HIV positive member of the Louisiana legislature. Though his candidacy was unsuccessful, he not only ran a close third with 24% of the vote (approximately 60 votes kept him out of the runoff), but he received an impressive 74% of the vote in the white majority precincts. Rep. Lafonta was unopposed in 2007. Though he could have been elected to two more terms under the state’s term-limits law, he chose not to seek re-election this year.

Proposed District

Population losses in Orleans and Jefferson Parish made redistricting a tricky proposition for the area: the district ended up having 43% less population than needed for a state representative district. Additionally, the fact that Rep. Lafonta was retiring made this seat an easy target for elimination. Existing District 96 was divided up amongst three adjacent districts which had lost a substantial amount of its population.

The new district has been relocated to Acadiana and is centered along Bayou Teche between Breaux Bridge and New Iberia. It has a 57% black voter registration and contains parts of Lafayette, Iberia, and Saint Martin, with Iberia and Saint Martin each containing 40% of the vote, and Lafayette Parish (portions of the north side of Lafayette and Broussard) containing 20% of the vote. This is a district which in partisan contests gives about 35% of the vote to Republicans; the real question is whether a white or a black Democrat will win under the new district lines.