BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Come January, the GOP will control every elected statewide office in Louisiana after Republicans swept three runoff races for attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer Saturday night.
The GOP success, in a state that has had a Democrat in the governor’s office for the past eight years, means that Republicans secured all of Louisiana’s statewide offices for the first time since 2015. In addition, the GOP holds a two-third supermajority in the House and Senate.
Liz Murrill was elected as attorney general, Nancy Landry as secretary of state and John Fleming as treasurer. The results also mean Louisiana will have its first female attorney general and first woman elected as secretary of state.
Saturday’s election completes the shaping of Louisiana’s executive branch, where most incumbents didn’t seek reelection and opened the door for new leadership in some of the most powerful positions.
Louisiana’s gubernatorial election was decided in October when Jeff Landry, a Republican backed by former President Donald Trump, won outright and avoided a runoff. Current Gov. John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, was unable to run for reelection due to term limits.
Also for the Republicans, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain were reelected last month and Tim Temple was elected insurance commissioner.
Despite a low voter turnout, Saturday’s election caught the eye of Trump, who endorsed the Republican candidates in each of the three statewide races.
The three Republicans “are outstanding in every way and have my complete and total endorsement,” Trump said in a statement issued by the Louisiana Republican Party.
Murrill, a Republican, will replace her boss, Jeff Landry, when he becomes governor in January. Murrill’s opponent in the attorney general race was Lindsey Cheek, a New Orleans-based trial attorney.
The attorney general represents the state in a variety of legal disputes. However, Landry often made statewide and national headlines in the role, including his support for legislation banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender youths and a near-total abortion ban with no exceptions for cases of rape and incest.
Murrill has joined Landry in championing conservative causes, including a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s administration for the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors.
On the campaign trail, Murrill pledged to fight overreach by the federal government, defending the state’s abortion ban and pushing a tough-on-crime rhetoric.
“When I entered this race. I promised to protect families, our future and our freedom because these things are important to me … I know they are important to everyone in our state,” Murrill said during her victory speech Saturday night. “I’m so humbled and I’m honored that the people of our state have chosen me to represent you and to fight for you.”
Trump gains a close ally in the state treasurer’s office: Fleming, a conservative former congressman who co-founded the U.S. House Freedom Caucus. After his time in Congress, the Republican served as a member of the former president’s administration. In Saturday’s runoff, Fleming faced Dustin Granger, a Democrat, who is a financial advisor based in Lake Charles.
Nancy Landry, who is not related to the governor-elect, beat Gwen Collins-Greenup, a Democrat, in the race for secretary of state. Landry is a former state representative from Lafayette and has worked in the secretary of state’s office for four years.
The Republican will take on the task of replacing Louisiana’s outdated voting machines, which don’t produce the paper ballots critical to ensuring accurate election results.
The lengthy and ongoing replacement process was thrust into the national spotlight after allegations of bid-rigging and when conspiracy theorists, who support Trump’s lies that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, inserted themselves into the conversation.
Landry is Louisiana’s first woman elected to secretary of state. The first female to hold the position was Alice Lee Grosjean, who was appointed in 1930 by then-Gov. Huey P. Long after then-Secretary of State James Bailey died suddenly of pneumonia.
Saturday’s ballot also had four proposed constitutional amendments, including allowing local governing authorities to give an extra property tax exemption to first responders, which received voter approval. There also were various local government office races, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education seats and 20 runoffs in the Legislature.