Landrieu keeps U.S. Senate spot, Cassidy unseats Cazayoux

Aaron E. Looney

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-New Orleans, held off the challenge of Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy of Baton Rouge Tuesday to retain her seat in Washington, according to unofficial election returns from the Louisian Secretary of State's Office.

Meanwhile, Republican state Sen. Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge won the race for the state's 6th Congressional District, defeating incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Don Cazayoux  of New Roads and Independent candidate Michael Jackson of Baton Rouge.

Voters across the state also passed three of seven proposed amendments to the state’s constitution.

With 3,839 of 3,956 precincts reporting statewide Tuesday night, Landrieu earned 903,470 votes for 51 percent. Kennedy earned 833,855 vote, or 47 percent.

Kennedy carried Ascension Parish in the race by earning 24,028 votes, or 53 percent. Landrieu earned 20,260 votes in Ascension Parish, or 45 percent.

With all but one of the 520 district precincts reporting Tuesday, Cassidy finished with 139,311 votes for 50 percent. Cazayoux finished with 110,308 votes for 39 percent, while Jackson earned 29,949 votes for 11 percent.

With all 26 precincts in Ascension Parish reporting, Cassidy finished with 15,881 votes for 65 percent. Cazayoux earned 7,587 votes for 31 percent, while Jackson earned 1,059 votes for 4 percent.

Cazayoux was elected earlier this year to fill the vacancy left when former U.S. Rep. Richard Baker resigned to take a job in the private sector.

In another district race that includes Ascension Parish, Republican Eric Srkmetta of Metairie defeated independent John F. Schwegmann to earn the District 1 seat on the state's Public Service Commission.

With 695 of 705 precincts reporting districtwide, Skrmetta finished with 201,969 votes for 60 percent. Schwegmann earned 139,785 votes for 40 percent.

With all 14 precincts reporting in Ascension Parish, Skrmetta earned 5,649 votes, or 53 percent, to Schwegmann's 5,649 votes, or 47 percent.

Louisiana voters also approved state constitutional amendments regarding the setting of term limits for various state boards, proclamations of special legislative sessions and temporary succession of powers for legislators called into active military duty.

With all 3,956 state voting precincts reporting, Amendment 1 - which provided for term limits for numerous state agencies including the Public Service Commission, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, boards of supervisors for state colleges and more - passed with 1,129,711 votes, or 69 percent. Voting against the measure were 497,205 voters, or 31 percent.

Amendment 2 - which requires a call for extraordinary legislative session be made seven calendar days prior to its start - passed with 951,980 votes, or 60 percent, to 641,262 votes, or 40 percent.

Amendment 3 - which called for temporary succession of powers for legislators called into active military duty - saw 981,398 votes, or 62 percent, in its favor. Voting against the measure were 606,991 voters, or 38 percent.

Amendments that failed covered increasing severance tax collection amounts on most natural resources, transferring special assessment levels on property when it has been sold or expropriated by government, providing exception to requirement of first refusal for property declared as surplus and authorizing investment in equities of a state or political subdivision reserve for post-employment benefits other than pensions.