Women legislative candidates

Democrats fielded 43 of the 77 women candidates running for legislative offices in the October elections. A handful of the candidates trained by Emerge Louisiana gathered at Baton Rouge City Hall after qualifying on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019.

When the dust cleared from three days of candidate-qualifying, 77 women had signed up to run for the Louisiana House and state Senate – more than ever before, according the Secretary of State’s statistics.

“It’s a record number,” said Melanie Oubre, executive director of Emerge Louisiana, which trained women to run as Democrats.

The numbers could have been higher, Oubre said, but the focus is on quality campaigns. Eighteen candidates were trained by Emerge Louisiana or about 23 percent of the women who signed up.

Sixty-three women qualified for legislative races in 2007 and that was the highpoint.

In 2019, 20 women are running for the Senate, 10 as Democrats. In the Louisiana House, 33 of the 57 women are running as Democrats.

A total of 334 candidates signed up to run the Louisiana Legislature.

Twelve of the 39 senators – nine incumbents and three state representatives – will win because nobody challenged them. That includes Harvey Republican Rep. Patrick Connick, who will be replacing Senate President John Alario, who retired earlier this year.

Thirty-seven of the 105 House members will be reelected because they have no opponents. Two were newcomers. A third is Democratic Delhi Sen. Francis Thompson, who returns to the House seat he once held.

Email Mark Ballard at mballard@theadvocate.com.