Democrat Belinda Davis and Republican Barbara Freiberg both advanced to a runoff and will face each other on Nov. 16 to represent House District 70 in the state legislature, according to complete but unofficial returns from the Secretary of State Office website.
The sole Democrat in the race, Davis, 48, is an LSU political science professor whose research focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of public policy.
Freiberg, 70, a Republican, has represented District 12 on the Metro Council since 2016. The retired educator pointed to her 30 years as a public school teacher and experience on the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board.
The five contenders in the race — three Republicans, one Democrat, and one Libertarian — all sought to succeed longtime Republican Rep. Franklin Foil, who is in his third four-year term and was term-limited in that position. Foil is now headed to a runoff with Democrat Beverly Brooks Thompson in the District 16 Senate race.
Davis led the pack with 38 percent of the vote and Freiberg captured 29 percent. The other candidates were Republicans Michael DiResto and Ricky Shelton and Libertarian Mallory Mayueax.
District 70 extends from the edges of LSU’s campus down to south Baton Rouge. Sixty-nine percent of its nearly 30,000 registered voters are white and 24 percent are black.
Democrats are hoping for a potential pickup of this district. Of the 22 contested House districts held by Republicans, District 70 is where President Donald Trump under-performed the most relative to Mitt Romney four years earlier, according to an analysis by Mike Henderson, an assistant professor who directs the Public Policy Research Lab at the LSU School of Mass Communication.