Nearly half of Louisiana’s state lawmakers have won re-election to new four-year terms without having to campaign, when no one signed up this week to challenge them. Twenty of 39 senators and 49 of 105 House members drew no opponents during the three-day candidate registration period that ended Thursday. Their names won’t appear on the Oct. 24 ballot because they were deemed “elected unopposed.” One unopposed House candidate who will take office in January has never served in the Legislature. Secretary of State Tom Schedler said he was stunned how many officials around Louisiana were elected automatically when no one qualified to run against them, about 43 percent of the 1,150 offices on the ballot statewide. He called it an “astounding figure” and cited continued voter apathy, locally and nationally.
… Eleven Senate seats didn’t have incumbents this year, with term limits preventing seven senators from running again and four others deciding against re-election bids. Twenty-two House seats had no incumbents seeking to hang onto the positions.
But even an open seat doesn’t necessarily draw heated competition.
Stephen Dwight, a Republican lawyer from Calcasieu Parish, won a vacant Lake Charles-area House seat without opposition. Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Moss Bluff, is term-limited and unable to run for re-election.