Republicans secured full control of Louisiana. But the latest election makes the new state government extreme. These are not moderates that got elected. Term limited governor John Bel Edwards mandatory exit meant change is necessary. But the massive turnover at all the top offices in state government is shocking. Louisiana’s state government officials are more conservative than ever before. Ironically Louisiana has its largest African American population since slavery. But white conservatives have a firm grip on power.
And the list of newly elected officials reads like a team Trump roster.
Governor and Treasurer
Jeff Landry sought and received Trump’s endorsement in the early months of the gubernatorial campaign. Landry’s campaign repeated ultra conservative mantra throughout. Stopping the woke mob in the blackest part of the state resonated with Louisiana voters. Landry easily won in the primary.
In the race for treasurer, John Fleming’s landslide victory over Dustin Granger is telling. A financial planner, Granger with an extensive background in finance, is imminently more qualified than Fleming to be Treasurer. Fleming is a medical doctor and owns a bunch of Subway franchises. But Fleming is a true Trumper. He served in two roles in the administration before becoming Trump’s personal assistant for planning. Fleming won by a landslide 65-35.
And the newly elected AG, Liz Murrill, is another ultra conservative that Trump backed. She will provide legal services to the governor as they push their new agenda. Governor Elect Landry has complete control of every branch of state government. Yes. He has allies or subordinates in every branch of state government.
What changes can you expect?
Landry promised to stop “woke” educators. The dramatic differences in approaches to how topics are taught is at our doorsteps. The happy slaves narrative Is coming. Any hope New Orleanians had at regaining control of their school board is dashed. Look for shifts in curriculum. Look for cuts to Southern and Grambling. Look for more boisterous school board meetings across the state.
An all-out assault on voting rights is happening. The controversial second majority black Congressional District is in the hands of a federal judge. The state legislature refused to draw a second district even though 35% of the state’s population is African American. As AG, Landry fought to stop the second Black district from advancing. Look for more restrictions of access to voting including stronger ID requirements.
Landry’s first appointment is a former Trump administrator. Aurelia Skipwith Giacometto moves to Louisiana to run the DEQ. She is closely connected to the fossil fuel industry.
Hiring Aurelia Skipwith Giacometto is a clear signal that industry’s right to pollute will continue with little oversight. In one of the most polluted states with the most environmental racism, Landry adeptly hired an African American woman. Cries of environmental racism are somewhat muted with this appointment.
African Americans did not bother to vote in large numbers. Weak Democratic candidates combined with complacency is part of the reason. Politics usually impacts people very little in the short term. Often political change is gradual and incremental. So people don’t understand what happened until its over. This is a just a heads up. The Louisiana Republican party is in complete control of state politics.