Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – Senate District 23

Incumbent – Page Cortez (R) – Term limited in 2023

District Map

Senate District 23


Voting History                                   

2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 46743 (77%) 41471 (77%)
Barack Obama (D) 13381 (22%) 11339 (21%)
Others 962 (2%) 840 (2%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 38189 (33%) 34031 (32%)
John Kennedy (R) 19936 (64%) 17020 (65%)
Others 1601 (3%) 1428 (3%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 32074 (74%) 28781 (75%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 8541 (20%) 7354 (19%)
Others 2566 (6%) 2212 (6%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 30926 (73%) 27765 (73%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 11697 (27%) 10078 (27%)


Current District

Senate District 23 can be simply thought of as the “South Lafayette district.” It is contained within Lafayette Parish and contains nearly all of the affluent precincts south of I-10, as well as a handful of precincts north of I-10. The area’s low black voter population is the third lowest of all 39 Senate districts.

Politically, this district is one of the most Republican in the state, and is the only Senate district west of the Mississippi River to have a Republican voter registration plurality. Accordingly, the district typically supports Republican candidates in national or state elections by a 3 to 1 margin, unless an Acadiana based Democrat is on the ballot, but even then, Republicans can still carry the district.

Despite the strong Republican preference, it’s only recently that Republicans represented the district. From 1966 to 1980, Democrat “Sonny” Mouton was its state Senator, and he left to make an unsuccessful run for Governor. Democrat Allen Bares succeeded him, and served 3 terms. The 1991 reapportionment made the district more Republican, since for the first time, a black district was created that at the time stretched from New Iberia to the northern fringes of St. Landry Parish. This reconfiguration contributed to Sen. Bares’ 60-40% defeat by Republican Max Jordan in the 1991 runoff. Jordan served for two terms, but was soundly defeated by (then) state representative Mike Michot, who switched to the Republican Party back in the mid 1990s. Senator Michot has had very little trouble being re-elected in this affluent district, but is term limited this year.  (UPDATED 9/8/2011)  He was replaced by Republican state representative Page Cortez, who was the only candidate to qualify.

Proposed District 

During the past decade, the district had robust population growth, and was 20% over the population of the “ideal” senate district (in fact, only three Senate districts between Baton Rouge and New Orleans had more population). The district therefore had to be pared back. Precincts north of Cameron Street (Highway 90) were added to District 24 (represented by Elbert Guillory). Senate District 26 (held by Jonathan Perry) was given some precincts west of Ambassador Caffery that voted 68-24% for David Vitter. Finally, precincts around Broussard were given to District 22 (represented by Fred Mills). (UPDATED 9/8/2011) These changes barely affected the political preferences of the district, and Republican Page Cortez was able to succeed Michot without a challenge.