Louisiana Primary Delayed, But No New Date Set Yet

Posted September 3, 2008 at 7:34pm

Louisiana will not hold its scheduled primaries Saturday because of the devastation and voter displacement caused by Hurricane Gustav earlier this week.

State election officials could decide as early as today when to reschedule the elections, and as of Wednesday there still was some hope of being able to hold the primaries on Sept. 13. Doing so would allow any required runoffs to take place on Oct. 4, the state’s currently scheduled runoff date.

Another possibility could be to hold all primaries on Oct. 4. That would push any required runoffs back to November and mean that some districts may not have a general election until December.

Louisiana is not unfamiliar with picking its candidates in December. The state is holding its first closed primaries in three decades this year, but in the past, the November election day served as an all-party primary day and runoffs took place in December.

Of Louisiana’s seven Congressional districts, only four have primaries this cycle, and of those only two seem likely to be headed to primary runoffs. Those contests are the 2nd district Democratic battle that pits Rep. William Jefferson against several high-profile challengers and a three-way GOP primary in the 4th district race to replace retiring Rep. Jim McCrery (R).