Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – Senate District 25

Incumbent – “Blade” Morrish (R – Term Limited in 2019)

District Map

Senate District 25


Vote History

2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 37173 (72%) 38036 (73%)
Barack Obama (D) 13201 (26%) 13353 (25%)
Others 979 (2%) 999 (2%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 22380 (45%) 22721 (44%)
John Kennedy (R) 26430 (53%) 27081 (53%)
Others 1303 (3%) 1334 (3%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 22701 (67%) 23255 (68%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 8864 (26%) 8975 (26%)
Others 2156 (6%) 2186 (6%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 21365 (64%) 21831 (64%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 12170 (36%) 12395 (36%)

Current District

Senate District 25 is in southwest Louisiana and contains all of Jefferson Davis Parish and Cameron Parish. It also contains the western portions of Acadia Parish and the southeastern portion of Calcasieu Parish/the suburban fringe south of Lake Charles. Overall, the district has a 14% black voter registration, which is essentially what it was when the lines were last drawn.

Politically, this is a Republican leaning district, as the Calcasieu precincts (where 41% of the voters live) leaned Republican, while the rural parishes tended to vote Democratic in statewide and local elections. Recently, however, Republicans have gained ground both in statewide and legislative races throughout the district.

This Senate district has had various configurations over the years, but the District 25 representation has been very steady. Democrat Cecil Picard represented portions of the district from 1979 to 1996. He rarely faced a tough race (or even an opponent), and resigned in 1996 when former Governor Mike Foster appointed him to be Secretary of Education. A spirited race developed to succeed him, with Democratic state representative Gerald Theunissen from Jeff Davis Parish defeating Republican Mike Francis 56-44% in the runoff. Since that race, Senator Theunissen was never opposed, although he later switched to the Republican Party.

Senator Theunissen was term-limited in 2007, and three candidates sought his seat: term-limited Democratic state representative Gil Pinac of Acadia Parish (who, curiously, later became a Republican), term-limited Republican state representative (and former Democrat) “Blade” Morrish of Jefferson Davis Parish, and Republican Lake Charles businessman (and former City Councilman) Mark Abraham. Though Rep. Pinac finished first in the primary 39-32% over Rep. Morrish, he had little room for growth in the runoff, as the conservative suburban Lake Charles vote Mark Abraham received was Morrish’s for the taking. Morrish won the runoff with 54%, with 2 to 1 margins in Jeff Davis (his home parish) and Calcasieu. (UPDATED 9/9/2011) He is allowed to seek two more terms, and was re-elected without opposition in 2011.

Proposed District

Redistricting in southwest Louisiana was relatively simple. The demographics weren’t there to create additional “majority minority” seats, and District 25 was 1% over the population of the “ideal” district. Only minor changes were made to the district, as five precincts in Acadia Parish were traded (four precincts were added, and one was removed). These changes had a negligible political or demographic impact, although the black voter registration dropped slightly to 13%, and the Calcasieu influence on the district dropped slightly, from 41 to 40%. Senator Morrish should not have a problem with re-election.