Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 5

Incumbent – Alan Seabaugh (R – Term Limited in 2023)

District Map

House District 5

Vote History

2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 14846 (70%) 12945 (70%)
Barack Obama (D) 6103 (29%) 5440 (29%)
Others 169 (1%) 152 (1%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 8041 (40%) 7130 (40%)
John Kennedy (R) 11927 (59%) 10398 (58%)
Others 344 (2%) 305 (2%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 10322 (66%) 9008 (66%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 4582 (29%) 4061 (30%)
Others 661 (4%) 579 (4%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 9783 (63%) 8501 (62%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 5730 (37%) 5122 (38%)

Current District

District 5 contains the southern suburban fringe of Shreveport. West of  I-49, that means it includes most of the territory between the Inner Loop and the Industrial Loop. East of I-49, it picks up some additional territory between the Industrial Loop and De Soto Parish.

Historically, this was one of the most Republican districts in the state. Not only did it cast over 85% of its votes for Ronald Reagan in 1984, but was one of the first House districts to have a Republican legislator. Since then, the district, while still decidedly Republican (Republicans can expect 60-70% support in elections now), has more of a Democratic base, due to racial changes in the precincts west of I-49. When the lines were last drawn, 12% of the registered voters were black; that number is now 20%.

The district has had consistent Republican representation in the house. Republican activist B.F. O’Neal was elected in 1972 and served until 1988. He was succeeded by Republican activist Roy Brun. Though Representative Brun narrowly defeated a Democrat 54-46% in the runoff, he was unopposed in 1991 and 1995. He resigned in 1997 upon his election to a district judgeship, and was succeeded by Republican Wayne Waddell. Representative Waddell would have been term limited in 2007, but due to the timing of his election in 1997 and swearing in in 1998, the Legislature eventually passed a law allowing him to serve another term. He resigned last year to accept a position of director of the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum in Shreveport. He was succeeded by Republican attorney Alan Seabaugh, who defeated a fellow Republican with 57% of the vote. Rep. Seabaugh is allowed to serve three more terms.

Proposed District

Though from a population standpoint, redistricting should not have been an issue here (the district was 10% over populated), this district is at the epicenter of an objection to the House plan filed by the Legislative Black Caucus.

The House plan itself made minor changes: two precincts were sheared off and placed in adjacent Republican districts to the north and south, which means that the new district has a slightly higher 21% black voter registration. While this new configuration would give Rep. Seabaugh a district where he would have little trouble being re-elected, the Legislative Black Caucus contends that another black majority seat could have been drawn in Shreveport. The impact of their objection, if the Justice Department concurs, would be twofold: (1) Caddo Parish would have 4 (and not 3) black representatives in Caddo Parish, and (2) Rep. Seabaugh’s district would be eviscerated and reconstituted as a black majority district. While this objection is being evaluated by the Justice Department, it is worth noticing that both Rep. Seabaugh and black Democrat Rep. Barbara Norton (who is also from Shreveport) have objected to this proposed configuration.

(UPDATE 7/7) The Justice Department precleared the House plan, so elections will go on as scheduled with the district as drawn at the present time.