Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 32

Incumbent – Dorothy Sue Hill (D – Term Limited in 2019)

District Map


House District 32

Vote History

2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 13195 (75%) 13107 (73%)
Barack Obama (D) 4042 (23%) 4364 (24%)
Others 424 (2%) 428 (2%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 7489 (44%) 7791 (45%)
John Kennedy (R) 8834 (52%) 8774 (51%)
Others 601 (4%) 596 (3%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 6829 (69%) 6854 (68%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 2330 (24%) 2514 (25%)
Others 749 (8%) 724 (7%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 6719 (69%) 6738 (67%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 3082 (31%) 3254 (33%)


 Current District

District 32 is located in an area between South and Central Louisiana. It contains the southeast corner of Vernon Parish, most of northern Beauregard Parish except for DeRidder (DeRidder is in District 30), and all of Allen Parish. It has a low 11% black voter registration that has remained steady throughout the decade.

This is one of a few districts with a low black voter registration that has had an affinity for populist Democrats. This is mainly because Allen Parish (where 55% of the votes are cast) used to be a Democratic stronghold – it was one of 10 parishes that voted for Walter Mondale in 1984. However, in recent years, as Allen Parish has moved to the right (it has voted Republican in every election ever since it voted for George W. Bush in 2000), Republican performance in statewide and Presidential elections has consistently improved here, to the point that both David Vitter and Jay Dardenne received about 70% of the vote here in the 2010 election cycle.

The increasing preference for Republican candidates has even shown up in legislative races recently. For years, this district has had very steady legislative representation, as Democrat James David Cain represented the district from 1971-1991. He retired in 1991 to run for the state Senate (where he served from 1991-2007), and was succeeded by Democrat Herman Ray Hill. Representative Hill ran unopposed after that, but was forced to retire in 2007 because of term limits.

This was one of several competitive races in Central Louisiana that were contested by the Republicans in 2007, but the Democrats, as in the other contested Cenla districts from here to Avoyelles Parish, were able to hold on and (at that time) maintain numerical control of the House. Democrats ran Rep. Hill’s wife Dorothy Sue, while James David Cain (who switched to the Republican Party about a decade ago) was the Republican candidate. Hill won in the runoff 51-49%: the 55% she received in Allen Parish helped put her over the top. She is allowed to seek two more terms.

New District

Redistricting was relatively painless here. District 32 was 2% over the “ideal” district population, and the demographics did not support the creation of a new minority district. Nevertheless, there was some shuffling of district lines that pushed the district a little bit towards the south. The district’s section of Vernon Parish was removed, and six precincts in Beauregard Parish were traded among neighboring districts. Finally, District 32 picked up DeQuincy in Calcasieu Parish. These changes slightly nudged the black voter registration up from 11 to 13% and ever so slightly strengthened the Democrats’ hand here. Ultimately, this is still an Allen Parish dominated district (54% of the vote is cast here after the lines were redrawn), so its electoral preferences set the tone for the entire district. While Rep. Hill shouldn’t have re-election worries, the fact that more people (especially in Allen Parish) are voting Republican is something she (or any other Democrat running for the seat in the future) has to be aware of.