Louisiana 2011 Legislative Analysis – House District 3

Incumbent – Barbara Norton (D – Term Limited in 2019)

District Map

House District 3

Vote History

2008 President

  Current District New District
John McCain (R) 1050 (7%) 1306 (8%)
Barack Obama (D) 14032 (93%) 15122 (92%)
Others 54 (0%) 57 (0%)


2008 Senate

  Current District New District
Mary Landrieu (D) 13326 (93%) 14398 (92%)
John Kennedy (R) 816 (6%) 1046 (7%)
Others 142 (1%) 150 (1%)


2010 Senate

  Current District New District
David Vitter (R) 711 (8%) 877 (9%)
Charlie Melancon (D) 7182 (84%) 7922 (83%)
Others 684 (8%) 711 (7%)


2010 Lt Governor

  Current District New District
Jay Dardenne (R) 721 (8%) 867 (9%)
Caroline Fayard (D) 8063 (92%) 8861 (91%)

Current District

Over the last several decades, reapportionment has been a boon for the Black Caucus, as their numbers have increased after each redistricting cycle. Even though the 1971 and 1991 cycles were known for spikes in black representation, there were also new black districts drawn after the 1981 reapportionment. One of those districts created was District 3, which is located in southwest Shreveport.

Specifically, District 3 is shaped like a pie wedge and is bordered roughly by I-49, I-20, and the Inner Loop. It was already 81% black by voter registration the last time the lines were drawn in 2001; today, it is 88% black. This is one of the most solidly Democratic districts in the entire state, as Republican candidates are lucky to get 10% in contested elections.

Since the creation of this district in 1981, only three black Democrats have represented the seat. Willie Singleton was its representative from 1983 to 1995, and when he retired, he was replaced by Ernest Baylor, who also served for three terms, although in the case of Rep. Baylor, term limits forced him to retire in 2007. He was replaced by Democratic Party activist Barbara Norton, who had twice (in 1995 and 2003) run before for the seat, and in her 2003 attempt, nearly won. She is allowed to seek two more terms.

New District

In Northwest Louisiana, there was a question about whether an additional black district could be drawn in Shreveport. Curiously, this move was opposed by Rep. Norton, who did not want the black population in her district to be diluted. Since her district was 10% under populated, three precincts were traded among adjacent districts. These changes essentially left the black voter population unchanged at 87%. While the district will elect a black Democrat, it will be interesting to see if Rep. Norton gets competition, since the three competitive races the district has had since 1983 have all involved her.