Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 40

Incumbent – Ledricka Thierry (D – Term Limited in 2019)

District Map

House District 40

Vote History

2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 7178 (35%) 7558 (36%)
Barack Obama (D) 12839 (63%) 13245 (63%)
Others 211 (1%) 223 (1%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 13267 (69%) 13754 (68%)
John Kennedy (R) 5809 (30%) 6092 (30%)
Others 291 (2%) 306 (2%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 4762 (38%) 4991 (38%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 6807 (54%) 6994 (54%)
Others 1059 (8%) 1085 (8%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 4825 (38%) 5042 (39%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 7775 (62%) 8013 (61%)

Current District

House District 40 is a collection of neighborhoods along I-49 in St. Landry Parish. It stretches from Cankton near the Lafayette Parish line up to a point just south of the Avoyelles Parish line along US 71. It was one of several districts that in 1991 were reconfigured to be black majority districts. It currently has a 59% black voter registration; it was 57% black when the lines were last drawn in 2001.

Politically, this is a safe Democratic district, although there tends to be a consistent base of support of about 35% for Republican candidates. Interestingly, this is a district that since its reconfiguration has seen two of its representatives in a row get elected to the state senate. The first representative of the newly drawn district was black Democrat Charles Hudson, who was elected by 49 votes in the 1991 runoff – he was obviously a beneficiary of the heavy black voter turnout resulting from the Edwards-Duke runoff. He was then easily re-elected until his death in 2004. In the special election to succeed him, the son of Donald Cravins (the former state senator) was elected, but he only served a couple of years: his father was elected Mayor of Opelousas in 2006, and Cravins Jr got elected to his father’s state senate seat shortly thereafter. Cravins Jr was succeeded by Elbert Guillory, who faced competitive elections both for the 2007 special election and the general election that fall. Rep. Guillory also had a short tenure, as Rep. Cravins Jr’s appointment to a federal job in Washington by Senator Mary Landrieu created a vacant state senate seat, which Guillory won. In the special election held in the summer of 2009 to fill the seat left vacant by Rep. Guillory, 10 candidates ran, and attorney Ledricka Thierry was elected in the runoff with 62% of the vote. She is allowed to serve two more terms.

New District

Redistricting in Acadiana was relatively easy, because population growth, combined with the presumed need for new black majority districts to replace those lost in New Orleans, meant that a new black majority district was created in the Bayou Teche area. District 40 was left relatively unchanged: though it was 9% under the population of an “ideal” House district, all that had to be done was the addition of one precinct along US 190 near Lawtell to the district. This addition had a negligible political demographic or political impact, as the black voter registration remained 59%. Though Rep. Thierry shouldn’t have re-election issues, it will be interesting to see if she attempts to seek another office before she has served two more terms.