Democrats Maintain Control Of Legislature

This story was written by Ginger Gibson, The Daily Reveille
The Democrats will maintain control of the state House and Senate based on unofficial election results from Saturday but will have the slimmest majority in almost 130 years.

The Democrats will have 53 of the 105 seats in the House and Republicans will hold 50 plus two independents.

Republicans have not had control of the state Legislature since 1878 and had hoped to pull out a majority this year.

Local seats did little to affect the balance in the Legislature because most runoffs held in East Baton Rouge Parish pitted Democrats against Democrats or Republicans against Republicans.

In the only statewide race, Democrat Buddy Caldwell beat Republican Royal Alexander with 67 percent of the vote. Royal took two parishes in the state, Caddo Parish where he lives and the nearby Bossier Parish, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State's office.

Democrat Sid Gautreaux beat Republican Greg Phares for sheriff with 52 percent of the vote. Phares had been acting sheriff for the past year after the previous sheriff retired in the middle of his term.

In a close race, state Rep. Yvonne Dorsey edged Baton Rouge attorney Jason DeCuir by 93 votes to take the Senate District 14 seat. There were 17,309 votes cast in the race, and both were Democrats. Dorsey was term-limited from seeking re-election for her previously held seat as the House District 67 representative.

"We're elated," said Patrick Wallace, Dorsey's campaign manager. "It wasn't as big as we wanted, but we'll take it."

In the House District 67 race that also pitted two Democrats against each other, Patricia Smith received 55 percent of the vote to beat Lori Burgess, a member of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council.

In another close race, Republican Steve Carter beat Republican Kyle Ardoin by 87 votes for the House District 68 seat, which borders campus to the east.
© 2007 The Daily Reveille via U-WIRE