Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 84

Incumbent – Pat Connick (R – Term Limited in 2019)

District Map

House District 84

Vote History

2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 11130 (68%) 12249 (71%)
Barack Obama (D) 4991 (30%) 4605 (27%)
Others 294 (2%) 335 (2%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 8088 (51%) 8380 (50%)
John Kennedy (R) 7422 (47%) 7906 (47%)
Others 386 (2%) 410 (2%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 6436 (61%) 6954 (64%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 3535 (33%) 3324 (30%)
Others 615 (6%) 660 (6%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 6186 (59%) 6704 (62%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 4333 (41%) 4167 (38%)

Current District

In Metro Orleans, parish boundaries are technicalities, as Orleans and Jefferson Parishes both straddle the Mississippi River. The West Bank has historically contained more of the Democratic voting base in Jefferson Parish, although Republicans represent several seats on this side of the river.

District 84 is a Westbank district comprised of Marrero and areas directly to the south, where subdivisions gradually fade into swamp. Though it is the Westbank district with the lowest minority population (20% of the registered voters are black), that percentage is significantly up from 14% a decade ago.

Typically, this district votes comfortably, but not overwhelmingly, Republican, although New Orleans Democrat Mary Landrieu has always done well here. Surprisingly, it has always voted for Democratic legislative candidates until very recently. From 1972 to 1988, J. Chris Ullo represented the district, until he was elected to the state senate in 1987. He was succeeded by Steve Theriot, who served for two terms, and left in 1995 to run unsuccessfully for State Treasurer. Theriot’s successor was N.J. Damico, who was making a comeback: he had represented a neighboring district in Harvey for two terms until he was soundly defeated by a black candidate after 1991’s redistricting gave his former district a black majority. Damico was forced to retire because of term limits in 2007.

Surprisingly (considering that Republicans never contested this seat over the years), this open seat turned out not to be a contest in the 2007 elections: Republican Patrick Connick was the only person to qualify for the seat, and was therefore elected. (UPDATED 9/9/2011) He is allowed to serve two more terms, and was unopposed in 2011.

New District

Though population losses in Orleans and Jefferson Parish made redistricting a tricky proposition for the area, it was relatively easy here. District 84 was only 3% under populated, and only minor adjustments were made to the district. A 47% black precinct south of Marrero was transferred over to District 83 (which was redrawn to be a black majority district). Similarly, a 33% black precinct along the Westbank Expressway in Marrero was added to District 87 (which had been a black majority district since 1991). The district boundaries were then moved directly south, into Barataria and Jean Lafitte, and the swampland directly to the south.

These changes reduced the black voter registration from 20 to 16% black, and made the district marginally more Republican. Pat Connick should not have re-election issues, but it will be interesting to see whether demographic changes going on in Gretna and Terrytown will make the district more Democratic friendly in the future.