Scott McKnight

Scott McKnight

Insurance businessman Scott McKnight won a seat in the Louisiana Legislature during Saturday's election, claiming the Baton Rouge-based House District 68 seat that Rep. Steve Carter had held since 2007, according to complete but unofficial returns.

McKnight, a 38-year-old Republican, led a five-candidate field in the October primary with 33% of the vote, followed by Democrat Taryn Branson with 24%.

In Saturday's runoff McKnight captured 58% of the vote to Branson's 42%.

McKnight is director of strategic business development for BXS Insurance, formerly Wright & Percy Insurance, the family business, and is co-owner of RapidFire Protection and Superior Ford. He's also a reserve East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy who said he has lived in District 68 his entire life.

He describes himself as a conservative with a record of getting things done in business and philanthropy.

“This, for me, is the next step in being able to improve our community and our state,” McKnight said. “And make it a better place for ourselves, our kids, our grandkids and the future.”

He said his goal is to improve the economic climate in the state to create a better environment for business growth, which he hopes will produce greater opportunities for his constituents.

“At the end of the day, this is about taking what I believe to be a great city and a great state and making it better,” McKnight said. “Nobody should be forced to move somewhere else to get a good education, or a great job and build a great career and be able to raise their family.”

McKnight challenged state Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, in 2015 but came in second in the three-candidate race. Claitor won.

The five-person field for District 68 initially also included Republicans Laurie White Adams and Tommy Dewey, and Democrat Joshua "Fini" Hajiakbarifini.

In the remaining weeks before the run-off, both McKnight and Branson emphasized their community involvement and dedication to the constituents of the district. While McKnight touted his established roots in the area, Branson reiterated her on-the-ground approach to district residents.

Interstate 10 runs the length of House District 68, which extends from Perkins and Highland roads on one end to LSU on the other. The district is generally south of Jefferson Highway and north of Perkins.

Click here to see full election results from the Louisiana Secretary of State's Office.

Email Jacqueline DeRobertis at jderobertis@theadvocate.com