Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 105

Incumbent – Ernest Wooton (I) – Term limited in 2011

District Map

House District 105

House District 105 New Orleans


Voting History


2008 President
  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 13156 (73%) 9980 (57%)
Barack Obama (D) 4641 (26%) 7215 (41%)
Others 321 (2%) 249 (2%)


2008 Senate
  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 8254 (47%) 9626 (57%)
John Kennedy (R) 8881 (51%) 6820 (41%)
Others 377 (2%) 320 (2%)


2010 Senate
  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 7341 (64%) 5628 (49%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 2847 (25%) 4819 (42%)
Others 1212 (11%) 1069 (9%)


2010 Lt Governor
  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 7568 (67%) 5900 (52%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 3676 (33%) 5519 (48%)


Current District

Some of the most remote parts of Louisiana are contained in House District 105, due to the swampy topography covering most of the district, as well as a limited highway infrastructure. This district includes all of Plaquemines Parish, the lower portion of Jefferson Parish except for Grand Isle, and affluent precincts in the southeastern part of St. Charles Parish.

Demographically, the district has a moderate (16%) and stable black voter population, and this demographic, as well as most of the population, is concentrated in Plaquemines Parish (61% of the voters live there). In contested elections, the Plaquemines and (especially) the Saint Charles Parish precincts give the district a Republican lean. These leanings are only partially offset by the Democratic leanings of lower Jefferson Parish in state and local races.

This state house seat has had relatively stable representation over the years. Democrat Frank Patti served for 26 years, and was re-elected with decent but not overwhelming percentages in 1987 and 1991. He retired in 1995 and was replaced by Democrat Benny Rouselle, who was elected in the runoff with 53% of the vote against a fellow Democrat. Rep. Rouselle resigned in early 1999 after being elected Plaquemines Parish President. He was replaced by Democrat Ernest Wooton, the former sheriff of Plaquemines Parish who curiously was defeated by a Republican in his 1991 re-election effort (and again in 1995, when he sought a rematch). Wooton only won that runoff with 51%, but was comfortably re-elected in 1999, 2003, and 2007. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he switched to the Republican Party (one of several legislators to do so), and this move strengthened him in the Republican precincts in St Charles Parish in his 2007 re-election. Since he could not seek re-election this year due to term limits, he ran for David Vitter’s Senate seat as an Independent, which enabled him to skip the party primaries which were in effect at the time. Though he received 1% of the vote statewide, the district gave him 7% support (11% in Plaquemines Parish) that likely would have gone to Senator Vitter had Wooton not been in the race.

Proposed District

Population losses in Orleans and Jefferson Parish made redistricting a tricky proposition for the area. District 105 already was 13% under populated. Furthermore, the fact that you had a term limited state representative and neighboring districts in the Westbank that were, in the aggregate, 9% under populated meant that nearby changes would have a ripple effect with this district. The sections of the district in St Charles, southern Jefferson Parish around Lafitte and Barataria, and the east bank of Plaquemines Parish were removed. Added to the district were a 40% black portion of Jefferson Parish around Timberlane and a 57% black portion of Algiers.

These political changes doubled the black voter registration of the district from 16% to 31% and transformed a Republican leaning district to one that was politically marginal, as the 49% of the district in Jefferson or Orleans will almost certainly provide a Democratic counterweight to the Republican leanings of the west bank of Plaquemines Parish – Orleans Parish gave Barack Obama 78%, while Obama got 49% in the Jefferson parish portion of the district.

Ultimately, this will be a district where minority turnout, as well as the quality of the candidates from either party, will make all the difference.