Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 80

Incumbent – Joe Lopinto (R – Term Limited in 2019)

District Map

House District 80

Vote History

2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 11692 (75%) 14163 (75%)
Barack Obama (D) 3719 (24%) 4381 (23%)
Others 264 (2%) 322 (2%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 6712 (44%) 8080 (44%)
John Kennedy (R) 8320 (54%) 10043 (54%)
Others 358 (2%) 424 (2%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 7715 (75%) 9323 (75%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 2099 (20%) 2554 (20%)
Others 501 (5%) 632 (5%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 7640 (74%) 9257 (74%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 2620 (26%) 3179 (26%)

Current District

House District 80 is in the heart of Metairie in Jefferson Parish and is shaped like a dog’s face: the “ears” touch Esplanade on the north, the “chin” touches Airline Highway. The boundaries of the district are roughly between Causeway and Transcontinental.

Politically, this is a heavily Republican district, as it can be counted on to provider about 3 to 1 margins for Republican statewide candidates, unless New Orleans native Mary Landrieu is on the ballot. Demographically, this district is nearly all white, although there have been some demographic changes in precincts along I-10: the black voter registration doubled from 5 to 10% during the last decade.

This district is one of a handful of legislative districts that has had Republican representation since the Treen administration. Charles Lancaster was first elected in 1979 as a Republican (he also served from 1972 to 1976), and served as its representative until 2007. He was generally re-elected by comfortable percentages, and the last time he received Democratic opposition was in 1987, when he was held to 63% of the vote.

Term limits forced Rep. Lancaster to retire, and in something of an upset, attorney and former sheriff’s deputy Joe Lopinto defeated former sheriff’s deputy (and nephew of the late Harry Lee) Glenn Lee with 59% of the vote. It probably did not hurt that Lopinto had the endorsement of the Alliance for Good Government. (UPDATED 9/9/2011) Rep. Lopinto is allowed to seek two more terms, and was unopposed in 2011.

New District

Though Jefferson Parish did not have massive population losses like Orleans Parish did, it still lost 5% of its population (roughly the equivalent of a state House seat). And District 80 itself was 9% under populated relative to what an “ideal” district should have. Fortunately for Rep. Lopinto, District 81 (which is between District 80 and the Orleans Parish line) was eliminated in redistricting, and District 80 was able to pick up precincts around Bonnabel and Metairie Road. These changes slightly pushed the district towards the east. The black voter registration slightly decreased from 10 to 9%, but you still have a heavily Republican district in the heart of Metairie that shouldn’t pose any problems for Rep. Lopinto or any other Republican.