BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Four of the state's incumbent Republican congressmen coasted to re-election victories Tuesday, while the battle between GOP U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry headed to a December runoff.
As expected, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney easily won Louisiana's eight electoral votes against President Barack Obama.
U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise of Metairie, John Fleming of Minden, Rodney Alexander of Quitman and Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge had no well-financed opposition seeking to unseat them, giving them largely free rides to new terms.
But Landry and Boustany were merged into the same congressional district when Louisiana lost a House seat after the last federal census. Three other contenders were in the 3rd District race, and neither congressman was able to win outright in the five-person field.
Boustany led the pack and quickly declared himself the front-runner for the Dec. 8 runoff election.
"Emerging with highest total of votes shows south Louisiana's clear choice for Congress. In a five-way race, this campaign finished on top. My campaign will continue to build on today's momentum, and I look forward to finishing the job," he said in a statement.
Landry claimed he has the advantage in a runoff, noting that more than 50 percent of the people in the district voted against Boustany though the district's design was supposed to favor him.
"This was Charles Boustany's district. He's been saying that the entire time. The majority of people voted against Charles Boustany," Landry said. "On Dec. 8, we finish the job."
In Louisiana's other congressional race, Democratic incumbent Cedric Richmond was ahead of his four opponents, but it was unclear late Tuesday night whether he would win outright or face a runoff.
Other items to be decided by voters included constitutional amendments. The most attention-grabbing amendment was overwhelmingly approved, setting a tougher standard for restricting the use of weapons and removing a provision that gives the Legislature explicit authority to limit concealed handguns.
An open seat on the state's utility regulatory agency, the Public Service Commission, went to Scott Angelle, a former official in Gov., Bobby Jindal's administration. He easily bested four competitors.
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