Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 63

Incumbent – Dalton Honore (D – Term Limited In 2023)

District Map

House District 63

Vote History

2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 2770 (15%) 4232 (23%)
Barack Obama (D) 15970 (85%) 14092 (76%)
Others 137 (1%) 148 (1%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 16040 (87%) 14392 (80%)
John Kennedy (R) 2171 (12%) 3438 (19%)
Others 190 (1%) 205 (1%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 1602 (14%) 2577 (22%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 9430 (82%) 8356 (73%)
Others 520 (5%) 566 (5%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 2091 (18%) 3091 (27%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 9444 (82%) 8389 (73%)

Current District

In Baton Rouge, the black communities were historically located along the Mississippi River in one of two areas: north of the ExxonMobil refinery in an area called Scotlandville, and between downtown and LSU along Highland Road. Accordingly, these areas were among the first in Baton Rouge to elect black legislators to the state House when single-member districts were created in 1971.

District 63 is anchored in historically black areas of north Baton Rouge like the Scotlandville community. It also includes the city of Baker (which not so long ago got its own independent school district) and formerly blue collar white neighborhoods adjacent to Metro Airport. Finally, the district includes industrial areas and black neighborhoods like Alsen along U.S. Highway 61 between Scotlandville and the outskirts of Zachary.

District 63 has a solid 82% black voter registration majority, which is a significant increase from 73% when the lines were last drawn, and is an example of demographic changes that have been taking place in what were once blue collar white neighborhoods (like Baker and Glen Oaks) in the northern portion of East Baton Rouge Parish.

Politically, this a solidly Democratic district, as Democratic candidates can count on at least 80% of the vote in contested elections. And, unlike some black majority districts in Baton Rouge, the district has had steady representation: only five black Democrats have represented the district since its creation in 1971. Dick Turnley was one of two black Democrats elected in Baton Rouge in 1971, and served until he became the first black state senator from Baton Rouge in 1983. He was succeeded by Jewel Newman, who only lasted a term: “Kip” Holden defeated him in 1987 and served until he was elected to a state Senate seat in 2001 (today, Holden is Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish). He was succeeded by Avon Honey, who was easily elected in a special election and served without much serious electoral competition. Rep. Honey, unfortunately, died in 2010.

A special election was held in 2010 to succeed Rep. Honey, and retired sheriff’s deputy Dalton Honore was elected in the runoff with 67%. He is allowed to serve three more terms beginning with the 2011 election.

New District

Redistricting was a relatively painless affair in Baton Rouge, because robust population growth in the area combined with a general consensus that an additional black majority district needed to be created made line drawing a non-controversial affair. Furthermore, the district was only 2% below the population of an “ideal” district. In fact, only four precincts had to be traded: three precincts near Glen Oaks that were once blue collar white neighborhoods a generation ago were placed in District 29 (represented by Regina Barrow), while one of the Zachary precincts which has seen robust population growth (probably because Zachary, like Baker, also got a new school system) was added to the district. These changes reduced the black voter registration from 82 to 75%, but even with the addition of a portion of Zachary, this is still a solidly Democratic district. Rep. Honore shouldn’t have re-election worries.