State Rep. Blake Miguez, R-New Iberia, has been elected chairman of the House Republican delegation, officials announced Tuesday morning.

He defeated Rep. Paula Davis, R-Baton Rouge 49-15.

Miguez will succeed Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, who held the job for the past seven years.

GOP members will hold 68 of the House's 105 seats next year.

In an interview, Miguez said the new House will not only include more Republicans but will also be more conservative than the previous delegation.

The 68 members are just two short of a super majority -- two thirds of the House.

"It is a lot more conservative as opposed to a moderate group," he said.

The next Senate includes a super majority of GOP members, and a more rightward tilt.

"It is an entirely different Legislature," Miguez said.

"And it is going to be an different environment there," he added.

"We are going to stand strong for our Republican ideology and beliefs."

"We encourage the governor to be open minded and not to be an obstructionist to what the people of Louisiana deserve -- a better Louisiana," Miguez said.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, won his second term on Nov. 16.

As chairman of the GOP caucus Miguez serves as House majority leader.

He will speak on behalf of Republicans on key policies and take part in negotiations with the governor and Senate leaders.

Miguez said key GOP priorities will be budget and spending changes and new rules for filing personal injury lawsuits and collecting damages -- called tort reform.

Email Will Sentell at wsentell@theadvocate.com.