News Guide: Senate, House Races Dominate Election

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Highlights of Tuesday's primary election in Louisiana. Runoffs if needed would be Dec. 6.



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         The top race Tuesday in Louisiana matches incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, against Republican Bill Cassidy and tea party favorite Rob Maness, a Republican and political newcomer. Other candidates include Democrats Wayne Ables, Vallian Senegal and William Waymire Jr., Republican Thomas Clements and Libertarian Brandon Lee McMorris. Landrieu and Cassidy, a congressman who gave up his seat to run for Senate, have battled in a series of attack ads largely centered on national policy matters.



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         House majority whip Steve Scalise faces three opponents in a district centered in the New Orleans suburbs. In his campaign for a fourth term, Scalise faces Democrats Lee Dugas and Vinny Mendoza as well as Libertarian Jeffry Sanford. Scalise won the seat in 2008 when his predecessor, Bobby Jindal, became Louisiana's governor.




         Incumbent Cedric Richmond, the only Democrat and only African-American in Louisiana's congressional delegation, seeks a third term in a campaign against four challengers in a district that stretches from New Orleans northwest toward Baton Rouge. The challengers are Democrats Rufus Johnson and Gary Landrieu, Libertarian Samuel Davenport and independent David Brooks. No Republican entered the race.




         Incumbent Republican Charles Boustany is seeking a sixth term in his southwest Louisiana district. He faces a fellow Republican, Bryan Barrilleaux, and independent Russell Richard. Neither of Boustany's opponents campaigned aggressively.




         In this northwest Louisiana district, incumbent Republican John Fleming seeks a fourth term in the House. The doctor and businessman faces Democrat Justin Ansley and Libertarian Randall Lord. Neither of Fleming's opponents mounted an aggressive fundraising or advertising campaign.




         In one of Tuesday's top races, incumbent Republican Rep. Vance McAllister faces eight challengers, including "Duck Dynasty" relative Zach Dasher, a Republican making his first run for office. McAllister is trying to overcome a cheating scandal that was leaked earlier this year. Others in the race are Democrat Jamie Mayo; Republicans Ralph Abraham, Harris Brown, Clyde Holloway and Ed Tarpley; Libertarian Charles Saucier and Eliot Barron of the Green Party.




         In another race of national interest, a big field of candidates qualified in this Baton Rouge-area House district, with Republican Bill Cassidy leaving it to run for Senate. Among them is Democrat Edwin Edwards, the former governor who is trying for a political comeback after serving time in a federal prison on corruption charges. He faces fellow Democrats Richard Lieberman and Peter Williams, Libertarian Rufus Craig Jr. and seven Republicans: Garret Graves, Robert Bell, Dan Claitor, Paul Dietzel, Craig McCulloch, Trey Thomas and Lenar Whitney.




         There are 14 on the ballot.


—Amendment 1: Sets a minimum level for Medicaid patient reimbursements paid to nursing homes, pharmacies and institutions for the developmentally disabled. Cuts to payments face restrictions so they could be no worse than for other health care providers, and require the support of two-thirds of lawmakers.


—Amendment 2: Lets hospitals pool their money and use those dollars to draw down new federal Medicaid money to compensate them for their care for the poor and uninsured. It involves a new fee assessed on the facilities, similar to what is paid by nursing homes. Lawmakers must approve the fee structure before it can begin. In exchange, cuts to hospital payments are limited and require a two-thirds vote of lawmakers.


—Amendment 3: Lets local government hire private contractors to help them collect delinquent property taxes and sell property whose owners haven't paid their property taxes.


—Amendment 4: Allows the state treasurer to invest public dollars into a Louisiana Transportation Infrastructure Bank that hasn't yet been created by lawmakers but could be used to finance road repairs and improvements.


—Amendment 5: Removes a requirement that forces Louisiana's judges to retire after reaching age 70 and finishing their current terms.


—Amendment 6: Raises a cap on the millage New Orleans can charge on property values to generate tax revenue for fire and police protection. The City Council would be able to levy additional mills only with additional local voter approval.


—Amendment 7: Tweaks language allowing veterans with certain service-related disabilities to get a higher homestead exemption than other property owners, to make more disabled veterans eligible.


—Amendment 8: Spells out in the constitution that millions of dollars in donations that oil companies make for artificial reefs, into the Artificial Reef Development Fund, can't be used for other purposes, like plugging budget holes.


—Amendment 9: Excludes permanently disabled homeowners from a requirement to certify their income annually to keep a special property tax rate.


—Amendment 10: Shortens the redemption period for blighted or abandoned property sold at a tax sale to 18 months, instead of three years. That period is when the previous owners can pay to regain ownership of the property.


—Amendment 11: Creates the cabinet-level Department of Elderly Affairs, overseeing services for Louisiana's older residents.


—Amendment 12: Requires that two members of the state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission be residents of parishes in north Louisiana.


—Amendment 13: Lets the government sell storm-damaged property in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward for below-market rates.


—Amendment 14: Limits when tax rebates can be considered by lawmakers to the same odd-numbered years as when tax exemptions, credits and other tax break programs can be debated.


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