Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 78

Incumbent – Kirk Talbot (R – Term Limited in 2019)

District Map

House District 78

 Vote History

2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 16341 (80%) 17050 (80%)
Barack Obama (D) 3803 (19%) 3991 (19%)
Others 392 (2%) 399 (2%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 7804 (39%) 8138 (39%)
John Kennedy (R) 11964 (59%) 12473 (59%)
Others 478 (2%) 499 (2%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 10793 (76%) 11256 (76%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 2665 (19%) 2771 (19%)
Others 758 (5%) 785 (5%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 10807 (76%) 11260 (76%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 3354 (24%) 3503 (24%)

Current District

House District 78 is on the Eastbank of Jefferson Parish. It includes a wedge-shaped area between Metairie and Kenner along the Soniat Canal, taking in Harahan, River Ridge, and portions of Metairie south of Esplanade. It has a low 5% black voter registration – it was 3% a decade ago. This is a district that typically gives 3 to 1 margins to Republican candidates, although Mary Landrieu, thanks to her visibility in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, was able to get 39% of the vote here in her 2008 re-election.

This is a district that was part of the “first wave” of Republican gains due to party switches back in the 1980s. Democrat Eddie Doucet represented this district for years before switching to the Republican Party in 1986. This was one party switch that backfired, and in 1987, he lost to Republican Robert Garrity. Garrity in turn lost to Republican Shirley Bowler in 1991. Though she had to fight to win re-election early in her tenure (she nearly lost to a Democrat in 1995), she eventually entrenched herself before being forced out in 2007 by term limits.

Four Republicans and a Democrat sought the seat, although the lone Democratic candidate received 7% of the primary vote. (UPDATED 9/9/2011) The victor in the runoff was the CEO of Lucky Dogs, Kirk Talbot, who is allowed to serve two more terms, and was unopposed in 2011.

New District

For most of the Eastbank of Jefferson Parish, reapportionment was pretty simple. The district was 3% under populated, and with River Ridge and Harahan as its core, was geographically a cohesive unit. Five precincts near Esplanade and Transcontinental were traded among District 78 and two neighboring districts. The political effect of these trades (two precincts near Esplanade lost, while three precincts near Transcontinental added) was negligible: the black voter registration only increased from 5 to 6%. Republicans in general and Rep. Talbot specifically should have no trouble keeping this seat.