Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 11

Incumbent – Rick Gallot (D – Term Limited in 2011)

District Map

House District 11

Voting History

2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 5902 (37%) 6374 (38%)
Barack Obama (D) 9955 (62%) 10472 (62%)
Others 136 (1%) 145 (1%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 10214 (67%) 10756 (67%)
John Kennedy (R) 4612 (30%) 4989 (31%)
Others 375 (2%) 394 (2%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 3700 (44%) 4017 (44%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 4233 (50%) 4524 (50%)
Others 511 (6%) 544 (6%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 3574 (42%) 3893 (42%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 4953 (58%) 5270 (58%)


Current District

During the 1991 reapportionment, the U.S. Justice Department mandated the creation of additional black majority districts in the Louisiana legislature. House District 11 was one of those districts that was modified to meet this mandate. It is located in north Louisiana and is a mixture of college-town and rural. The “college town” section is the portion of Lincoln Parish around Grambling (home of Grambling University). The “country” section of the district includes all of Claiborne Parish and the northern fringe of Bienville Parish.

Overall the district has a stable 60% African-American voting majority (up slightly from 59% in 2003), which keeps the district in the Democratic column in election after election, but not overwhelmingly so – while there are solid African-American majorities in Lincoln and Bienville Parish, there is also Claiborne Parish, which goes Republican from time to time.

Unlike most north Louisiana districts, District 11 had a series of contested elections a generation ago. It ousted incumbents both in 1987 and 1991. The 1991 turnover was a direct result of the reconfiguration of the district to be majority African-American. And just as the increased black turnout during the Edwards/Duke runoff helped defeat a Republican incumbent in a neighboring district , in this district, the white Democratic incumbent was defeated. The victor, black Democrat Pinkie Wilkerson, was re-elected easily until her death in 2000. She was succeeded by another black Democrat, Rick Gallot, who has similarly breezed to re-election. He is term limited this year, however, so he cannot run for re-election.

Proposed District

Redistricting in this part of the state was relatively painless, since District 11 was 2% under populated, while a neighboring district represented by Hollis Downs (R-Ruston) was 11% overpopulated. Since a 5% population variance is permitted when drawing district lines for the House, several precincts in the southwestern portion of Ruston were swapped between the two districts, which resulted in both districts’ having the permissible district population.

The changes have reduced the black voter registration percentage from 60 to 58%, which very slightly increases the conservative presence in the district, While these changes would not be enough to elect a Republican, the influence of Lincoln Parish has increased from 49 to 52% of the vote, which increases the odds that Gallot’s successor will come from Lincoln Parish, provided that he/she can also corral the 29% of the vote in Lincoln that is white.