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Louisiana: Charles Boustany Jr. Cruises to Runoff Win Over Jeff Landry

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:30 p.m. | Louisiana Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. defeated freshman Rep. Jeff Landry in Saturday’s GOP member-vs.-member runoff in the bayou forced by redistricting. The four-term lawmaker’s victory marks the last House race of 2012 to be decided.

Boustany had 61 percent to Landry’s 39 percent, with 87 percent of precincts reporting.

A GOP-controlled redistricting process placed both members into the same southern Louisiana 3rd District. But Boustany always had the edge: The new district was composed of about three-quarters of his old turf. That meant Landry had to both introduce himself to the majority of voters and convince them that he was a better choice than Boustany.

Landry’s strategy was to paint Boustany as close with Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, as a creature of the GOP establishment and as a squish. Landry, who is aligned with the tea party, positioned himself as the true conservative in the race. He hit Boustany on votes on which they split, like the debt-ceiling raising Budget Control Act: Landry voted against it whereas Boustany, and GOP leaders, voted for it.

But Boustany, who also considers himself conservative, had the monetary support of the establishment, which was an advantage no amount of Landry positioning could overcome.

In the month between Oct. 18 and Nov. 18, Boustany raised an extraordinary $887,000 compared to Landry’s $300,000. And Boustany had a very comfortable $732,000 left in the bank on Nov. 18 compared with Landry’s lackluster $189,000.

Boustany finished first in the Nov. 6 all-party “jungle primary” election, taking 45 percent to Landry’s 30 percent.

Louisiana’s unusual and late election calendar means Boustany is the final member elected to the 113th Congress.

Landry is the 13th member defeated by a fellow member in the 2012 redistricting cycle. To see the other members defeated or not returning to Capitol Hill in January see our Casualty List.

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