GOP Loses State Senate Seat, But Picks Up 2 Spots In House

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Republicans have narrowly lost their super-majority in the state Senate after the weekend's runoff election.

         Democrats picked up a Senate seat Saturday. The chamber's GOP membership will drop from 26 to 25 in January, keeping Republicans short of the two-thirds bloc required to pass certain types of financial legislation in the 39-member Senate.

         But Republicans remain firmly in the majority in both the Senate and the state House. They made gains in the House, picking up two seats.

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         Sixty-one Republicans will be in the House for the next term, along with 42 Democrats and two unaffiliated with a political party.

         Majorities in both chambers were decided before the fall elections, when many incumbents didn't draw competition or their challengers dropped out.

         No senator who sought re-election was ousted, but six House incumbents were defeated over the course of the primary and runoff election.

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         Losing their re-election bids were Reps. Joe Harrison, R-Napoleonville; Nick Lorusso, R-New Orleans; Stephen Ortego, D-Carencro; Darrell Ourso, R-Baton Rouge; Lenar Whitney, R-Houma; and Ebony Woodruff, D-Harvey.

         House members seeking to move to the Senate had some successes.

         Reps. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge; Jim Fannin, R-Jonesboro; Eddie Lambert, R-Gonzales; and Wesley Bishop, D-New Orleans, will become senators in January.

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         But Reps. Jeff Arnold, D-New Orleans; Richie Burford, R-Stonewall; Henry Burns, R-Haughton; Dalton Honore, D-Baton Rouge; and Ledricka Thierry, D-Opelousas, won't be moving to the upper chamber.



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