Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 79

Incumbent – Tony Ligi (R – Term Limited in 2019)

District Map

House District 79

Vote History

2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 14829 (77%) 15737 (77%)
Barack Obama (D) 4225 (22%) 4401 (22%)
Others 268 (1%) 280 (1%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 7326 (39%) 7741 (39%)
John Kennedy (R) 11267 (59%) 11906 (59%)
Others 368 (2%) 386 (2%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 9929 (76%) 10564 (76%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 2584 (20%) 2692 (19%)
Others 607 (5%) 642 (5%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 9945 (76%) 10566 (77%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 3069 (24%) 3222 (23%)

Current District

House District 79 is a rectangular shaped district in suburban Jefferson Parish that contains most of the higher income precincts in Kenner between Esplanade and Lake Pontchartrain. It has an insignificant black voter registration of 7% (virtually unchanged from when the district lines were last drawn), but curiously has a Hispanic population of 17% – the second highest percentage of any state House district.

Politically, this is one of the most Republican districts in the state, consistently turning in 3 to 1 Republican margins in statewide races, with one major exception: Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans roots and her visibility after Hurricane Katrina enabled her to get 39% of the vote here in her 2008 race – nearly double the percentage that Barack Obama received.

In legislative races, this district is unique in that only Republicans have ever represented it since its creation in 1983. In fact, in the 1983 race that Republican “Skip” Hand won, he only faced Republican opposition in the primary. He served for a decade before his election to a district judgeship in 1994. He was succeeded by another Republican, Danny Martiny, who served until term limits forced him out in 2007 (he now represents the area in the state Senate). He was succeeded by another Republican, attorney Tony Ligi, who had David Vitter’s endorsement and was elected in the primary with 42% of the vote when his runoff opponent (who received 23% of the vote) withdrew. (UPDATED 9/9/2011) Rep. Ligi is allowed to serve two more terms, and was unopposed in 2011.

Proposed District

Population losses in Orleans and Jefferson Parish made redistricting a tricky proposition for the area, but in this case, the district had 99% of the population necessary for a new district, and was largely left alone: one precinct from District 80 (represented by Republican Joe Lopinto) was added to the district. This change had virtually no political impact, and Republicans shouldn’t have any issue keeping this seat – the last time a Democrat even ran in this district was in 1991.