General election, 2010
The 2010 general elections will include contests for U.S. Senate and Congress, Lieutenant Governor, public service commission and a swath of state and local judicial seats.
The federal primaries are set for Aug. 28. Open primaries for state and local seats will be held Oct. 2. The general election is set for Nov. 2.
For most of 2010, the contours of the U.S. Senate race in Louisiana seemed to be set. Incumbent Republican David Vitter, still wounded by his 2007 admission of being a client in a Washington prostitution ring, would face U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, who as a conservative-leaning Congressman was the Democrats' best hope for challenging Vitter.
The early July filing period threw a few twists into that narrative. On the last day of filing, former state Supreme Court justice Chet Traylor of Monroe filed to challenge Vitter in the Aug. 28 Republican primary. A social conservative who authored an opinion defending the state's sodomy laws, Traylor seemed to pose a viable challenger to Vitter from the right, but Vitter easily dispatched him and Nick Accardo to secure renomination.
Another 11th-hour filing surprise came when state Rep. Ernest D. Wooton, a Republican who represents much of oil-stricken Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes in the Louisiana legislature, filed to run as an independent.
Finally, the filing period also populated the ballots with more than a dozen longer-shot candidates. Melancon also faced two opponents in the Democratic primary, Cary Deaton of Metairie and Neeson J. Chauvin Jr. of Carencro, whom he easily beat.
Independent candidates facing Vitter, Melancon, Hayes and McShan on the Nov. 2 ballot will be Michael Karlton Brown of Shreveport (No Party), R. A. "Skip" Galan of Ponchatoula (No Party), small businessman Milton Gordon of Alexandria (No Party), Sam Houston Melton Jr. of Winnfield (No Party), Thomas G. "Tommy" LaFargue of Baton Rouge (Other), retiree and early challenger William Robert "Bob" Lang Jr. of Natchitoches (Other) and Web entrepreneur Michael Lane "Mike" Spears of Lafayette (Other).
U.S. House of Representatives
Each of Louisiana's seven Congressional seats is up for re-election.
In the Second Congressional District that covers most of New Orleans, first-term Republican U.S. Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao (La-02) briefly drew a primary challenger in Norman Paul Billiot who almost immediately withdrew from the race. Four Democrats filed to challenge him: state Rep. Cedric Richmond, state Rep. Juan LaFonta, Eugene Green and Gary Johnson.
As of the first quarter of 2010, Richmond had far outpaced LaFonta in fundraising and built a war chest that even rivaled incumbent Cao's. None of the other candidates could match Richmond's early momentum, and he won the nomination without a runoff by securing 61 percent of the vote.
No primary challengers emerged against Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, whose First Congressional District covers parts of the Audubon and Carrollton neighborhoods inside New Orleans, parts of both the North and South shores of Lake Ponchartrain, and from there north and east to the Mississippi border.
The election to fill the final year of Mitch Landrieu's unexpired term as lieutenant governor drew a full roster of well-known Louisiana politicians, five Republicans and four Democrats.
Leading the Republican field may be Secretary of State Jay Dardenne of Baton Rouge and country singer Sammy Kershaw of Lafayette (the 2007 Republican runner-up to Landrieu), but Louisiana Republican Party chairman Roger Villere of Metairie is also well known. The Democratic Party offered state Sen. "Butch" Gautreaux of Morgan City, plus frequent candidate James "Jim" Crowley of Shreveport.
St. Tammany Parish Council offered up two candidates, Republican Parish President Kevin Davis of Abita Springs and Democratic Councilman Kenneth "Ken" Burkhalter of Slidell. Two political newcomers also filed for the office, Democrat Caroline Fayard of New Orleans and Republican Melanie J. McKnight of Baton Rouge.
Public Service Commission
State-level judicial seats
Four state-level judicial seats were decided without elections, when only one candidate filed for each.
New Orleans area judicial seats
Many judicial seats within New Orleans were likewise settled when only one candidate filed, but two will have crowded contests.
The Section A and B seats will go to the only two candidates who filed, Democrats Monique G. Morial and incumbent Angelique A. Reed, respectively. Incumbent 1st City Court clerk Ellen Hazeur drew no opposition.
In addition to a number of proposed amendments to the Louisiana Constitution, Orleans Parish has three local propositions on the Oct. 2 ballot. Two are parishwide questions, one that would restructure the New Orleans Recreation Department into an independent commission and the other altering appointments to the Sewerage and Water Board. The third concerns the fee for the French Quarter Marigny Hisotric Area Management District. A question about renewing Upper Hurstville Security District was also originally slated for Oct. 2, but it had to be moved to November, though it was changed too late to take it off the October ballot.